olafur eliasson and ma yansong: feelings are facts
olafur eliasson and ma yansong: feelings are facts olafur eliasson and ma yansong: feelings are facts
apr 09, 2010

olafur eliasson and ma yansong: feelings are facts


designboom was in beijing at the exhibition opening of ‘feelings are facts’, the result of a first time collaboration between danish-icelandic artist olafur eliasson and chinese architect ma yansong / MAD,  which challenges our everyday patterns of spatial orientation. vision functions as our primary default sense for navigation, but within this installation, insecurity is induced on visitors initially, reducing visibility, suggesting the need to invent new models for perception.

olafur eliasson ma yansong image © designboom



this site-specific project, located within the big hall of ullens center for contemporary art (UCCA), beijing, is based on a series of previous experiments by eliasson, which deal with atmospheric density. here, eliasson introduces condensed banks of artificially produced fog into the gallery, shimmering with an artificial light spectrum created using arrays of red, green and blue fluorescent lamps. this illusion in light is not something we find in nature, however, as one walks through the space the sights and sensations experienced become real.

olafur eliasson ma yansong image © designboom



dimensions are further altered by the substantial lowering of the ceiling along with a nearly 60 meter long curving, inclined wooden floor space which ma yansong has created within the installation room. the sloping floor challenges visitors to readjust their balance, forcing them to constantly shift their weight and body posture to counterbalance the inclination.  this emphasizes the important role of the moving body in the perception of our surroundings. the further visitors venture into the space, the steeper the floors get, reaching the point in which  it becomes a wave-like curved wall. since the ceiling imitates this construction, a seemingly boundless space is discerned above.

olafur eliasson ma yansong image © designboom



‘space and light bring life into existence. there is no space, unless given light and boundary. space has never existed, but rather exists only in the specific feelings it induces. space in reality, exists only in sensuality. with expanding desire, everything is managed with utmost efficiency. our feelings and sensibilities are seeing facts in the context of habituated life. no until shutting our eyes,  can be feel the world from within, space and light will touch your soul.’ – ma yansong

olafur eliasson ma yansong fog obstructs the view of the visitor, playing with their perception of space image © designboom

olafur eliasson ma yansong image © designboom

olafur eliasson ma yansong

the fog and fluorescent lighting create colored walk-through spaces image © designboom

olafur eliasson ma yansong image © designboom

olafur eliasson ma yansong dense fog being emitted into the gallery space image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

entrance into the installation hall image © designboom

artist olafur eliasson and architect ma yansong image © designboom

artist olafur eliasson and architect ma yansong portrait © designboom

  • Can we get high-res versions of the color-fog images?

    Peter says:
  • must see anne veronica janssens

    dagerm says:
  • can someone fly me to beijing to see this pretty please?

    joy says:
  • You need to check out Venezuelan artist, Carlos Cruz Diez work. He’s been working with color since the 1950’s

    Raquel says:
  • These guys are my idols

    favonian says:
  • saw it with my own eyes… phenomenal work by olafur. dont really see any part that has influence of ma. have talked with ma personally many times, he’s not capable of saying anything thats as interesting as whats written above. work done by olafur with comments written by his PR person… then what is he really good for???

    qun says:
  • veronica janssens already did it long time ago !…..

    MK says:
  • Ma of MAD is the best architect around, Olafur knows.

    kos says:
  • great concept!
    good combination between art and architectural research.
    db is top!

    LKL says:
  • are you kidding me, that work is olafur 100 percent, it just takes to see previous work of both, i dont see any zaha hadid wanna be in this project

    qqdeas says:

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