Journeying East, West and Beyond Infinity
September 19, 2011
Images via Designboom
French artist and architect Serge Salat is bringing his immersive installation “Beyond Infinity” to ten cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai. In this installation, he has created a private cosmos where visitors are invited to journey through endless layers of space mapped out using cubic shapes, panels of mirrors, shifting lights, and music. “Beyond Infinity” is a multi-sensory, multimedia experience that blends Eastern Chinese with Western Renaissance, modern, and contemporary visual culture into a singular work. Click to see more and more!
The layout of the installation is said to borrow spatial techniques from the Suzhou Gardens, a masterpiece of Chinese landscape that seeks to create a natural, mystical journey through the manipulative framing of spaces and scenery. The famed three-lined trigram of I Ching is the main pattern that organizes the space of the work. Salat’s steel cubes with honeycomb aluminum panels also consciously evoke the geometries of East Asian architecture through contemporary materials.
While Salat’s use of optical illusions and mirrors undoubtedly alludes to Western art history, the visual theatrics of the installation borrow heavily from Chinese cultural memes as well. Medieval China witnessed the development of a new kind of illusionism that conflated mirror reflections with pictorial images. Like in historical Chinese mirror-halls, Salat plays with optical fictions, using mirrors to explode a single room into a spatial infinity. His work blends both East and West and the past and the present, infusing the world we live in with a world of dreams.