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The Living Lantern: Kinetic Light Installation by NEON & Frankie Boyle Studio

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The Living Lantern

We all seek the light of hope. The Living Lantern, designed by NEON & Frankie Boyle Studio, presents an attractive installation that sways and flaps with illumination. The two design teams collaborated on the vision to bring forth the emotions of humankind, like a ray of hope in these unprecedented times. The Living Lantern profess the capability to adapt and transform.

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The Living Lantern

Neatly tucked into a public space, inviting every passer-by to its serene crusade, the lantern as a guiding light imbues a sense of love, wisdom, and transcendence. The dynamic wind responsive membranes open and close in an ecstatic dance, while emanating light from its core sneaks through the openings. Visitors gaze and observe the constant transformation, every movement a new opening, every wave fleeting a stream of new thoughts. The design imparts a meditative effect upon the interaction between wind and animated light sequences.  

“Since the emergence of COVID-19, we have collectively lived through a profound period of uncertainly and anxiety. We hope that the ever-changing nature of the Living Lantern might draw people in, inviting contemplation, reflection and daydreams,” said Mark Nixon of NEON.

The Living Lantern
The Living Lantern

“From a technical standpoint, the lighting for the lantern was developed on a volumetric platform that allowed sequences to appear to be moving three-dimensionally around the sculpture. This dramatically changes the appearance of the lantern but also the environment surrounding it as it is bathed in coloured light,” said Frankie Boyle.

The Living Lantern

The artwork incorporates two modes. During the day, the visitor can experience the timber materiality, by the evening lights activate the membranes as a real-life lantern. Koskisen Thin Plywood as the component of construction, counterweights with a steel nut and bolt. The mechanism in the component sits horizontally when there is no wind but lifts up or down when a breeze drift by.

Frankie Boyle Studio felt strongly that the light should reflect and build upon the personality of the Lantern breathing membrane. Thus, the light sequences evoke a meditative state in the viewer, similar to when we observe a candle flicker. Every sequence has no beginning or an end; they are in a constant trance, soulful and harmonious. The designers purposely decided not to integrate interactive lighting or responses, instead, it acts as a portal for the viewer to access their own inner world.

The Living Lantern has been endorsed as a tour-able artwork. Every frame of the project developed using CNC technology offers precise and accurate tying and untying of parts to be replaced with ease. Engineers Elliott Wood engaged in refining the artwork frame and ensure it to be structurally sound in an external environment. All these features bestow the artwork as a designed series of components that scramble up like a jigsaw on-site, allowing to mount and dismount with relative ease.

The Living Lantern
The Living Lantern

Let there be a light that guides us, embraces us and comforts us to view a world full of possibilities. The Living Lantern offers hope and guidance through periods of darkness.

The Living Lantern

Project Details:
Architects: NEON
Light Artist: Frankie Boyle Studio
Engineers: Elliott Wood
Fabricators: Iceworks / Durasystems
Lighting Fabrication and Programming: Show Binary
Sponsors: Koskisen Thin Plywood
Photography: Sarah Marshall / Pixel Frame

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