As Covid-19 spread throughout 2020, governments, businesses, and individuals around the world undertook unprecedented measures akin to wartime efforts. Countries have been put into lockdown, schools closed, events canceled, factories shuttered, millions told to work from home, and emergency funds released. No economic cost has been too big to stem the spread of the disease. Coronavirus is proving that it is possible to make dramatic changes and economic sacrifices to save lives.
NEON和Frankie Boyle工作室希望合作开展一个项目，反应当我们面对新的情况时，我们如何能够适应变化和合作。最终的项目被设计成具有吸引力，提供一种希望和欢乐的灯笼，并激活最近一直很安静、感觉不安全的公共空间。这个项目被称为 "活灯笼"。灯笼是一个普遍的象征，象征着光明、超越和指导性的光芒。在不同的文化中，它们被看作是爱、智慧和照明的象征，也象征着引导灵魂穿越黑暗时期的内在之光，并有新一天的承诺。灯笼提醒我们有能力在这个世界上找到自己的方向，并表达了我们与生俱来的内在力量。
NEON and Frankie Boyle Studio wanted to collaborate on a project that illustrated the responsiveness of humankind, and how we are capable of adapting to change and working together when we face new situations. The resultant project has been designed to be inviting, to offer a sense of hope and joy, and to activate public spaces that have recently been quiet and felt unsafe. This project is called “The Living Lantern”. Lanterns are a universal symbol of brightness, transcendence, and guiding light. In various cultures, they are viewed as symbols of love, wisdom, and illumination, and also symbolize the inner light that guides the soul through periods of darkness with the promise of a new day. Lanterns remind us of our ability to find our way in the world and speak to our innate inner strength.
About The Living Lantern
“The Living Lantern” is a kinetic and light installation. It has a dynamic, wind responsive outer membrane that opens and closes to filter the light from its core. Visitors are invited to spend time observing an object in constant transformation. This project has a meditative effect, as the structure is constantly evolving according to interaction between the wind-powered movement and the animated light sequences.
The artwork has two “modes”. During the day, the visitor can experience a version where the artwork’s timber materiality is expressed. In the evening, when it’s dark, the artwork is activated with light, much like a real life lantern.
The Living Lantern employs a kinetic mechanism that NEON have used in a number of previous projects (for example Shiver House). The component used is constructed of Koskisen Thin Plywood, which is counterweighted with a steel nut and bolt. The mechanism used means that the component sits horizontally when there is no wind, but lifts up or down when there is a breeze to close up the structure.
关于作品中使用的灯光，Frankie Boyle工作室的Frankie Boyle说："我强烈地感觉到，灯光应该反映并建立在灯笼的个性之上。灯光序列的设计是为了唤起观众的冥想状态，就像我们观察蜡烛随时间变化的方式一样。考虑到这一点，项目上的序列不是有一个明显的开始和结束，而是抽象的和不断变化的。这种方法意味着人们能够根据自己的选择在艺术品上花费更多或更少的时间。我们特意决定不使灯光具有互动性或反应性，相反，它被设计成一个门户，让观众进入他们自己的内心世界。”
On the lighting used in the artwork, Frankie Boyle of Frankie Boyle Studio said: “I felt strongly that the light should reflect and build upon the personality of the Lantern's breathing membrane. The light sequences have been designed to evoke a meditative state in the viewer in a similar way to when we observe a candle flicker over time. With this in mind, rather than having a noticeable beginning and end, the sequences on the Living Lantern are abstract and in constant transformation. This approach means that people are able to spend as much or as little time with the artwork as they choose. We purposely decided not to make the lighting interactive or responsive. Instead, it is designed to act as a portal for the viewer to access their own inner world.
“From a technical standpoint, the lighting for the Lantern was developed on a volumetric platform that allowed sequences to appear to be moving three-dimensionally around the sculpture. This dramatically changes the appearance of the lantern, but also the environment surrounding it as it is bathed in coloured light” said Frankie Boyle.
From the outset, the Living Lantern was designed to be a tour-able artwork. With this in mind, the frame for the project was developed using CNC technology, which offers precision and accuracy and allows parts to be replaced with ease. This approach meant that the artwork could be designed from a series of components that fit together like a jigsaw on site, allowing for its install and uninstall with relative ease. Engineers Elliott Wood were engaged to help refine the frame for the artwork and to ensure it is structurally sound in an external environment.
The Living Lantern was shown for the first time in Brisbane, Australia as part of the Word Science Festival and Curiocity, a 17-day festival that celebrates science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths (STEAM). The project is currently on show in Hsinchu City, Tawain as part of the Taiwan Light Festival (formerly the Taiwan Lantern Festival, which was rearranged due to Covid-19), and will then appear at numerous locations worldwide as part of a 5-year global tour.
Proejct: The Living Lantern
Light Artist: Frankie Boyle Studio
Location: North District, Taiwan, China
Engineers: Elliott Wood
Fabricators: Iceworks / Durasystems
Lighting Fabrication and Programming: Show Binary
Sponsors: Koskisen Thin Plywood
Photography: Sarah Marshall / Pixel Frame