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Take a trip in the light fantastic

By Zhang Lei | China Daily | Updated: 2019-12-14 12:20
Light interactive installation Cocoon.[Photo provided to China Daily]

A new light interactive installations exhibition that opened on Dec 7 at Beijing Apm Shopping Mall in Wangfujing, invited busy shoppers to take time out and climb inside and explore the interactive exhibit.

Titled Cocoon, the installation is part of the mall's newly-launched Touch My Heart art exhibition, designed by international interactive lighting and design studio Amigo& Amigo.

Inspired by the Apm atrium as a place where people come together and socialize, the studio set out to create an engaging space that celebrates the local community and offers passersby the chance to contribute a little part of themselves to the interactive art experience.

As visitors approach Cocoon, they find themselves surrounded by an intricately woven 9-meter-tall network of lights and strings. They are soon invited to climb inside the enveloping installation and use their heartbeats to control a dazzling show of color and light.

"Cocoon has already attracted a lot of attention. The creative inspiration behind the installation derives from the oriental saying 'Breaking a cocoon to become a butterfly', which conveys the notion that transformation is a difficult process. The motivation to complete any metamorphosis must come from the heart. Seeing and feeling this heartbeat is what controls this transformation," says Simone Chua, director of Amigo& Amigo.

According to the Metropolitan People's Stress Survey recently released by China Business News Weekly and Omron Health, more than 40 percent of office workers interviewed suffer from the increasing pressures brought about by urban life. The report shows that psychological and mental interaction can both help to alleviate anxiety.

"The unique thing about Cocoon is that when a person enters, the sensing device will immediately respond to the frequency of their heartbeat. By changing the frequency of the flashing lights and rhythm of the music, visitors can visualize their heartbeats," says Chua.

"For public art, people need to be within reach of the work, unlike in fine art exhibitions, where people are generally more removed".

Despite having never lived in Beijing, Chua has spent a long time in China, mainly in Shanghai. On her third visit to Beijing, the designer says she has a close connection to China since her father is Chinese, and her mother Australian.

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