Taiwan Lantern Festival Hsinchu 2021
Materials: Fibre Optics, Reactive Programming, and Barge
Design Lead: HagenHinderdael
The immersive light installation BO is inspired by the history of the Long En Canal, which used to irrigate over 2,400 acres of rice fields. The Long En Canal was the major source of nourishment for the paddy fields as well as a space for recreation and interaction among Hsinchu’s citizens. Its important historic impact on the City is represented in an interactive light installation mimicking the rows of rice fields, with bundles of light strands floating on the surface of the water. These strands are assembled within a dynamic motion motivated by the second most important aspect of Hsinchu City – the climatic conditions with its constant gusts of easterly winds blown in from the Taiwan Strait, which baptised Hsinchu “The Windy City”.
The installation flows on the water surface like dense fields of glowing rice strands touched by the wind, resulting in an organic shape which expresses a wave-like gesture across the canal. Each bundle of strands consists of fibre-optics fixed into a floating barge culminating in an ephemeral motion of glowing infinity. The barge will be approximately 20m long and 2m wide, housing all the electrics to cover 500 bundles of IP-rated fibre-optic light strands fixed within acrylic tubes.
Introducing the high technology aspect of Hsinchu City’s present identity, the lights are programmed in a way to pulsate and gradually change their brightness; enhancing the dynamic, flowing movement of the undulating waters through a continuous frequency.
Connecting these parameters with the current issues of the pandemic’s distancing and isolation regulations, the lights increase in brightness through a reactive sensor sensitive to human interaction. Whenever people engage and interact across both sides of the canal by means of waving at each other or sending kisses and hugs, the lights increase in brightness and dim down when the motions stop. It’s a playful encounter in times when only virtual engagement is possible, motivating distanced interaction through illumination.
BO is a dynamic installation inspired by the history of the land, touched by the blowing winds and people’s expressions resulting in an ephemeral flow.