Installation art takes Xintiandi into space

Liu Xiaolin
Space station and astronaut pieces lend a futuristic touch to the downtown shopping and entertainment hub.
Liu Xiaolin

Installation art pieces featuring space stations and astronauts adorned Shanghai Xintiandi earlier this week, lending a futuristic touch to the downtown shopping and entertainment hub.

A part of this year's Lumiere Shanghai lighting festival, the series of four major pieces of installation work were created by local art group Chuang Gallery under a theme of "Entering the Futuristic Scene."

"Space science is probably one of today's frequently discussed topics, from Elon Musk's SpaceX to China's first female astronaut, and surely we artists are quite interested in it," Feng Bin, the chief artist of Chuang Gallery told Shanghai Daily.

"We'd like to bring to life a possible living scene for human beings in the near future," Feng said. "There are a couple of spaces that cannot be avoided, for example, the lander, the space walk and, as a public transportation hub, the base station."

With a total of more than 20 artists, including concept design illustrators, modelers and engineers, they managed to present to the public a space for imagination, along with a vision of future life in space.

On the plaza of Xintiandi Style I is the major piece, a mixed media installation called "Space Station 20" that measures 17 meters long and 5 meters high. It presents the basic unit of a space station with some 100,000 electrical components that integrate all necessary functions for a human's daily life.

"I studied and borrowed a dozen control combinations that are commonly seen in today's commercialized public transport, such as automobiles and airplanes," Feng explained.

He had been building up an image cloud of all those components based on his own aesthetics, and then picked out the color and geometric combinations (of the control units) that he favored, rearranged them and put them into the installation piece.

The energy system of the station appears in the form of a "Tree of The Future" presented via holographic imaging. Glowing with a warm bright orange light, the power tree is a huge contrast against the silver gray space station.

The event runs through the end of the year.

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