The Sunflowers

Artists: Francesco Cappuccio (Italy) / Dutchanee Ongarjsiri (Thailand)

The Sunflowers welcomes each visitor with a bow — and in a most charming way introduces them to the potential of harnessing solar energy for a sustainable future. 

This joyous light sculpture assembles a harvest of potted sunflowers along a walkway with an east–west orientation, allowing maximum exposure to the sun. Solar panels harness energy from the sun during the day and store it in batteries embedded in the flowers: at night the stored energy is used to brighten LEDs in the petals and to facilitate the ‘bowing’ movement.

In nature, sunflowers respond directionally to sunlight (this is also called heliotropism):a young flower faces east at dawn and greets the sun, then slowly turns west as the sun moves across the sky; during the night, they gradually turn back to the east to begin the cycle again. Sunflowers are loved by children and adults and are frequently associated with happiness, positivity and adoration: in Oriental cultures, sunflowers signify intelligence, strength, good luck and a long life.

Country represented by installation: Thailand