‘Formal Abstraction and Reflective Luminance’ is an installation that engages the viewer in both the physical and fictitious realms. The work, a pair of floating hollow white cubes each measuring 2.1 meters by 2.1 meters, is an assemblage of 216 individual modular units containing, and some without, white LED line lights with reflective inner housings and semi-reflective faces. 35 centimeters by 35 centimeters square in profile, the units consist of 42 modular types with various enclosure depths, light alignments, inner housing configurations, and material applications. The assemblage of the modular units forms eight distinctive floating slabs, revealing various compositional schemes on the themes of symmetry and asymmetry, repetition and instance, rhythm and irregularity, and similarity and contrast. As one moves close to the work, the viewer is presented with individually engageable framed opening, each offering a set of optical readings with line light and reflection repeating in motion into the deep dark space. The boxes contain the actual and fictitious spaces in which optical images of distortion, blur, movement, alignment, dissipation, and rhythm are projected. The use of material that nearly replicates a mirror but not entirely reflective results in the loss of luminosity with each repetition dissolving its own existence. Within each of the framed opening, the fictitious space exists, at times, above, below, on the sides and beyond, prompting the viewer to move closer with the eyes forcing the head to turn and tilt. Each box is independent of each other and the optical reading gets shaped by the viewer’s position relative to the box in which distance, angle, and movement alter the perception. The viewer’s attempt at focusing on one box gets distracted by the adjacent box and the others aligned vertically and horizontally in multiple affiliations, intriguing the viewer to survey the others. The wok is not about the light or reflection, but the visceral experience itself. It presents sensory intrigue and spectacle, interrogating the relationship between the physical and fictional. The installation reminds the viewer of ability in design to transcend the physical limitation, blur the boundaries between the actual and fictitious realms, and interconnect the two, creating captivating spaces. .
Lawrence Kim / A+U LAB is a design collective and collaborative practice for architecture and urbanism. Led by Lawrence Kim, A+U lab engages in diverse projects through design consultancy and research working regionally and internationally.