Nature and Man in Rhapsody of Light at the Water Cube
Five years ago, the Chinese capital took to hosting the Olympics with fervour, conducting a citywide clean up effort, showcasing a legendary opening ceremony, and premiering the Olympic Green with both Herzog & de Meuron’s architectural ‘Bird’s Nest’ and PTW’s ‘Water Cube’ (a.k.a. Beijing National Aquatics Center). Though both are now landmarks and popular visitor sites, the latter this summer breathes with new life for the project ‘Nature and Man in Rhapsody of Light’, an interactive public art exhibit by artists Jennifer Wen Ma and Zheng Jianwei, whose mission is to “interpret the collective current state of mind and aura of the nation and reflect it back to the people”.
In layman’s terms, this means the façade of the structure will be illuminated with a pulsing LED display that serves as an abstract, reflective platform of national social media trends. Drawing on the ‘emotional data’ (read: emoticons) on microblogging sites like Sina Weibo, and using in tandem the ancient teachings of philosopher I Ching, the Water Cube will translate these thoughts loosely together into a canvas of contemporary colour and composition. This ‘projection of feelings’ will take place every night between sunset and 10pm – a capital spectacle, if ever there was one!