'spirituality has been a catalyst for evolution': mariko mori on her peace crystal in venice

'spirituality has been a catalyst for evolution': mariko mori on her peace crystal in venice

art 260 shares connections: +140

Faou Foundation presents Peace Crystal by Mariko Mori

 

Nature-focused non-profit Faou Foundation, founded by Mariko Mori, presents Peace Crystal, a major installation by the Japanese artist in the garden of Palazzo Corner della Ca’ Granda, Venice, Italy. Inspired by Buddhist philosophy, Peace Crystal symbolizes the body as a vessel for the eternal soul, cycling through life, death, and rebirth. The crystal stands at 167.5 cm (five feet six inches) tall, the average height of a modern human, and is balanced on its narrowest point. This represents the moment humans evolved to stand upright, a development Mori believes was crucial for the growth of intelligence and spirituality, allowing humans to receive energy from both celestial and terrestrial sources. ‘I believe spirituality has been a catalyst for evolution,’ Mori tells designboom.

 

Through Peace Crystal, Mori invites us to reflect on world peace and shared humanity. The installation runs until October before its permanent installation in an Ethiopian cave. ‘Ideally, we are looking for a cave near a major city with a large opening for Peace Crystal and a natural overhead opening to allow sunlight to filter in,’ Mori explains. For more about Peace Crystal, its significance, and its future in Ethiopia, read designboom’s full interview with Mariko Mori below.

'spirituality has been a catalyst for evolution': mariko mori on her peace crystal in venice
the exterior of the Peace Crystal installation | all images by Marta Buso courtesy of Faou Foundation

 

 

interview with mariko mori

 

designboom (DB): Can you elaborate on how Buddhist philosophy influenced the concept of Peace Crystal?

 

Mariko Mori (MM): The spectrum sphere at the core of Peace Crystal symbolizes the eternal soul. In Buddhist philosophy, it signifies the belief in reincarnation, where all living beings undergo cycles of life, death, and rebirth with the soul being eternal.

 

 

DB: This artwork balances evolutionary biology with spirituality, two notions that do not always coexist easily. In your view, where does humanity stand today in relation to this coexistence?

 

MM: I believe that humanity has developed intelligence and spirituality alongside evolution. This achievement is evident as spirituality is a universal theme for humans and has historically supported human creativity in innovation—and continues to do so today. In essence, I believe it could be argued that spirituality has been a catalyst for evolution.

'spirituality has been a catalyst for evolution': mariko mori on her peace crystal in venice
Mariko Mori outside the Peace Crystal installation

 

 

DB: Walk us through the process of designing the Peace Crystal. What materials and techniques were used?

 

MM: Peace Crystal is made out of crystal glass, employing glass casting techniques that have evolved since Roman times. By using pure materials, the crystal glass has a high transparency and prism effect. Additionally, the spherical centrepiece of the artwork is solid glass, coated with a dichroic finish through vacuum deposition. Peace Crystal was developed from a vision I had and I have worked hand in hand with my studio architect, Stuart Huggan, who translates my vision into 3D models, a glass structural engineer, and a glass manufacturer to understand the technical capabilities.

'spirituality has been a catalyst for evolution': mariko mori on her peace crystal in venice
‘I believe that humanity has developed intelligence and spirituality alongside evolution,’ Mori tells designboom

 

 

DB: Can you tell us more about the Faou Foundation and its mission?

 

MM: Faou Foundation is a nonprofit organization that increases awareness of our planet’s natural treasures and promotes the idea, through permanent public art installations and related community-based educational programming, that humanity and nature are of equal value.

 

Through the gifting of artworks, Faou continues the sacred and primal tradition of honoring nature. Each work stands as a symbol of awareness and appreciation for the planet’s diverse ecosystems. Joined together, they illustrate how these strikingly different sites around the world are interconnected.

'spirituality has been a catalyst for evolution': mariko mori on her peace crystal in venice
by using pure materials, the crystal glass has a high transparency and prism effect

 

 

DB: Could you share some insights into the collaborative process with local communities and ecological settings for your installations?

 

MM: Faou Foundation has been working steadily to create a series of ambitious installations in unique ecological settings around the globe, each placed on one of the six habitable continents. These installations offer lasting testimonies to the natural beauty of their surroundings.

 

The permanent works promote a deeper understanding of humankind’s connection with the natural environment. They help preserve their local ecosystems and engage the communities that host each installation. The locations have specifically been chosen based on their pure natural settings as well as their native customs, cultures, and histories. We engage and collaborate closely with local communities in the creation, installation, and activation of the artworks. The local communities seem to take great pride in ownership of the public artworks.

interview-mariko-mori-human-sized-peace-crystal-venice-faou-foundation-designboom-full-03

Peace Crystal stands at 167.5 cm (five feet six inches) tall

 

DB: Talk to us about Faou’s other distinct projects in Japan and Brazil.  How do they differ from Peace Crystal? 

 

MM: All of Faou’s installations honor nature. The installation in Miyako Island, Okinawa, Japan honors the sea, while the permanent installation in Rio de Janeiro’s Cunhambebe State Park honors waterfalls (see designboom’s previous coverage here). Peace Crystal pays tribute to humanity, as humans are also a part of nature, and will ultimately be installed in Ethiopia, the land of our origins and the birthplace of humanity. Prior to gifting Peace Crystal to Ethiopia and installing the artwork permanently in a cave, a temporary exhibition is being held in Venice in order to share Peace Crystal with a wider audience.

'spirituality has been a catalyst for evolution': mariko mori on her peace crystal in venice
‘Peace Crystal pays tribute to humanity, as humans are also a part of nature,’ says Mariko Mori

 

 

DB: Once the crystal lands in Ethiopia, what will the process of installation and maintenance look like inside the cave?

 

MM: Due to the pandemic, our search for the perfect cave was temporarily paused, and therefore, the installation site has not yet been finalized. Ideally, we are looking for a cave site that is not too far from a major city that will have a big large opening for Peace Crystal to enter but will have a deep cavity with a natural opening above to allow sunlight to filter in. We will determine an installation method and maintenance program after evaluating structural and environmental conditions that celebrate and conserve the local natural resources.

'spirituality has been a catalyst for evolution': mariko mori on her peace crystal in venice
the spherical centrepiece of the artwork is solid glass, coated with a dichroic finish

 

 

DB: How do you think Peace Crystal and your other monumental projects take part in global conversations about humanity, nature, and the environment?

 

MM: In the Neolithic period before agriculture, humans coexisted with nature. Subsequently, civilizations emerged fostering cultural advancements, but over time, especially in modern times, we have developed a separation between ourselves and nature. In Japan, there exists a belief system called Shinto, which continues to worship nature today. Reverence for nature is a traditional value in Japan, likely due to the country’s harsh natural environment, which occasionally leads to disasters.

 

However, this attitude of honoring nature contributes to environmental preservation. Through my endeavors, I hope to pass on this tradition to which my distant ancestors were once deeply rooted. I believe that Faou’s dedicated works can help to perpetuate this tradition and foster a renewed honor for nature for generations to come.

'spirituality has been a catalyst for evolution': mariko mori on her peace crystal in venice
the spectrum sphere at the core of Peace Crystal symbolizes the eternal soul

interview-mariko-mori-human-sized-peace-crystal-venice-faou-foundation-designboom-full-01

Peace Crystal will ultimately be installed in a cave in Ethiopia

 

 

project info: 

 

name: Peace Crystal 
artist: Mariko Mori | @marikomori
location: Palazzo Corner della Ca’ Granda, Venice, Italy
dates:
June – October 2024
presented by:
Faou Foundation | @faoufoundation

KEEP UP WITH OUR DAILY AND WEEKLY NEWSLETTERS
suscribe on designboom
- see sample
- see sample
suscribe on designboom

happening now! sky-frame’s ‘my point of view’ film presents david montalba’s surf-inspired architecture in malibu, using their expansive glass doors for uninterrupted ocean views – see the whole video on designboom! 

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

X
5