penda’s soundwave pierces the myrtle tree garden in xiangyang with 500 steel fins
all images by xia zhi

 

 

 
as visitors enter the myrtle tree garden in xiangyang, china, at once they become completely surrounded by more than 500 vibrantly colored steel fins varying in height around them. ‘the soundwave’ is the recently completed landscape sculpture by beijing & vienna-based practice penda, serving as a visual representation of a solidified moment of motion.

 

sprouting up like trees amidst the topographical landscape, a field of fins comprising four different shades of purple — the tone of the myrtle tree — gives visitors the sense of being surrounded by tree trunks, as if walking through the woods. like many other public squares throughout china, the plaza is intended to be used by locals for group dancing. each of the fins are perforated at their crown, contain stripes of LED lights hidden inside. the orchestra of fins produces a spectacle of light, reacting to the surrounding movement and noise on the plaza — the louder the music, the more vivid the movement and the brighter the illumination on the site. spaces in-between the beams vary from narrow footpaths to wide areas, giving visitors and dance-groups an opportunity to interact with the sculpture by day and night.

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500 vibrantly colored steel fins vary in height around visitors to the plaza

 

 

 

the installation can be seen as a transitional space between the city and the landscape. from a distance, the sculpture punctures a skyline-like image of a city onto the horizon, yet upon entering, the color and light invite visitors within the natural landscape of the myrtle tree garden.

 

the fins are clad by perforated purple stainless steal-panels, colored in a bath of electrolyte and electricity, keeping the main characteristics of the steel unimpaired and corrosion resistant. by day, their matte finish reflects its surrounding and transforms with the position of the sun, creating a constantly-changing appearance of the sculpture. additionally, the panels are located in four different water ponds, a reflection which adds to the play of light. at night, the lighting within the fins generates a ever-transforming image, which reacts directly to the visitors movements on the plaza.

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the installation can be seen as a transitional space between the city and the landscape

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the field of fins comprises four different shades of purple

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panels divide a pathway for visitors within the site

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the fins are clad by perforated purple stainless steal-panels

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the installation both unites with and pierces the surrounding topography

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beams of varying heights soar into the air

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the installation creates a skyline-like pattern when viewed from a distance

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spaces in-between the beams vary from narrow footpaths to wide areas

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the from a distance, the sculpture punctures a skyline-like image of a city onto the horizonpenda-soundwave-sculpture-china-designboom-02
at night, the lighting within the fins generate a constantly transforming image of the sculpture

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LED lights hidden with the upper part of the rising panels illuminate the sculpture by night

 

project credits:

 

name: the soundwave
type: public installation, landscape design
location: xiangyang / hubei / china
year: 2013 – 2015
size: ~5.000m2
team: dayong sun, chris precht, fei tang precht, yongjian huang, zhonghua tang, chunlei zhu, junfeng li, runxin tang