Light Origami

Artists: Masakazu Shirane (Japan)
Collaborators: Reuben Young (Producer), Inge Liljestrom (composer), ARUP (Tim Car / Neelam Gopalani)

Country: New Zealand/Japan

Light Origami invites viewers to explore the nature of reality by entering a giant 3D kaleidoscope. The domed structure is bathed in light and is constructed using over 320 origami shapes made from aluminium composite panels. Changing spectrums of light are projected within the space, and when mirrored against the aluminium composite panels, the effect is like being inside a kaleidoscope.

This installation, commissioned by Vivid, forms part of the thought-leadership and innovation festival, Amplify. The artists’ intent is to encourage the viewer to question the nature of reality and to explore how this is impacted by their own perceptions, imagination and changing visual perspectives.

The work functions in a similar way to a traditional cylindrical kaleidoscope: as the viewer interacts with it, new and unique forms are created. However, on this scale viewers become participants and co-creators; each movement is reflected in the glass panels, the colours they wear are incorporated into the presentation of pattern and light, and when they look in different directions perspectives are altered.

Japanese artist Masakazu Shirane has created several monumental artworks inspired by a fascination with the refraction and reflection of light in kaleidoscopes. In 2014 a work entitled Wink was exhibited, which was premiered as part of the Kobe Biennale in Japan. In 2015, working in creative collaboration with New Zealander, Reuben Young, they again reimagine the kaleidoscope as an art form to create Light Origami as a new purpose-built installation for Vivid Sydney. Arup’s world-class expertise and inventive and highly skilled building engineers, design specialists and lighting engineers played a critical role in bringing this idea to life.

The structure is designed using digital 3D computer modelling, with each panel connected by a zipper.