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bioluminescence, Puerto Rico, First Art Foundation, art, environmental art, Obon Festival, Festival of the Dead, dinoflagellates, Miya Ando, eco-art, site specific art installation, solar energy, bioluminescent leaves

Named after the Japanese Obon Festival, which commemorates the spirit of the dead and is said to guide ancestral spirits home with floating lanterns, Ando’s floating poetry also mimics bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico that are populated by singled-celled dinoflagellates. When these organisms are disturbed, they light up like water-bound fireflies.

The 1,000 ficus leaves collected locally were coated with a non-toxic resin and phosphorescence that actually absorbed energy from the sun during the day, appearing totally clear, but then at night they lit up, creating a tranquil, otherworldly ambience that absolutely thrilled onlookers. Spoon & Tamago recently interviewed Ando in her studio. Follow the link to find out what she said about this special public commissions.

+ Miya Ando

Via Spoon & Tamago