Christmas taking arty tech twist at K11 mall
A 15ft (4.5m) installation will be a feature of a multi-artform Christmas exhibition to launch next month at K11 mall in Tsim Sha Tsui.
K11 commissioned French contemporary artist Nicolas Buffe to create the installation, which combines augmented reality (AR) technology with traditional mortise-and-tenon craftsmanship.
Opening on November 11 and running through to January, The Universe in Me: A Christmas Voyage exhibition also features a three-dimensional paper installation and wall art series by Hong Kong artistic duo Stickyline to echo the concept behind Buffe’s work: “a celebration of the exceedingly wondrous impossibility of our impossible universe”.
Buffe’s Enchanting Universe Spanning 13 Zodiac Signs is described as a rocket-lantern sculpture that introduces a fantasy adventure into a universe imagined around the architectural beauty of space, as well as a narrative built on traditional Japanese myths mixed with the 13 western zodiac signs (largely disputed by astrologers who support the 12 zodiacs). His work is an amalgam of western art traditions with Japanese and American pop culture, including anime, tokusatsu, manga and videogames.
Using a special AR mobile app, visitors can view zodiac signs in the sky.
The main structure of the sculpture was put together in Asakusa, Tokyo, with Japanese tilia and larch wood using only mortise-and-tenon joints. It includes modern tokusatsu sculpture techniques and traditional Japanese lanterns.
Buffe’s contribution also includes an interactive zone with a theatrical entrance, 13 zodiac drawings, graphics, drawings on windows and interactive games. The highlight is a “planetarium” where visitors lie down on giant cushions to view personalised astronomical and astrological images projected on the ceiling of an indoor tent.
Stickyline’s The Universals is a large-scale paper installation featuring 35 asteroid-like geometrical wonders illuminated with light projections to depict a theme of exploring time and space through science and philosophy.
The art duo also offers Laws of Existence, 11 works combining paper art and machines with three over-arching themes: the eternal structure and laws of the cosmos, natural regularities guided by the cosmos, and human civilisation inspired by the cosmos.
K11 is the world’s first museum/retail concept, a hybrid model of art and commerce founded by
Adrian Cheng in 2008. The flagship K11 in Hong Kong was launched in December 2009, followed by a Shanghai flagship in June 2013.