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LIVING HOUSE - Light Installation




Concept drawings.



LIVING HOUSE installed at 550 Wuding Road, Shanghai. 2008.




Projection unit behind each window.



LIVING HOUSE - Light Installation


A set of twelve windows on a building facade is presenting projections of living fish on rice papers. Each window appears to contain two fish swimming synchronized. It is only after longer observing that one realizes that shadows of the same fish are projected twice from different sides.

After the building had been empty for some time, the installation is presenting new life inside to the people in neighbourhood of Wuding Road, Shanghai.

Materials: Rice Paper, Glass, Wood, Electronic Equipment,

Size of each projection unit: 0.8 m x 1 m x 1.6 m, Size of each window: 1.8 m x 2 m.







Big Eyes Fish Take the Lead in the Living House Light Installations


Bringing expertise from his previous work in product, furniture and interface design to the

table, Simon Husslein opened up his own design studio in Shanghai in 2007 after

graduating from the Royal College of Art in London. In his most recent projects, Husslein

“investigates optical illusions in relation to the surrounding space, time and light” and is now

testing the waters as a creative artist.


His latest light installation, Living House, is just that – an optical illusion. The new owners of

the building at 550 Wuding Road, Shanghai, approached Husslein with a request to bring

life to the long dormant building and to let the locals know that a renovation is on its way.

With only a small budget at hand and a longstanding Chinese tradition that served as

inspiration, Husslein transformed the twelve windows on the building’s façade into oversized

fish tanks, each containing “two fish swimming synchronized.” At least so it might appear to

the locals walking by.


What you are in fact looking at is a projection on rice paper of a fish tank, complete with a

real fish swimming around, that sits on a pedestal in the room behind the window. A double

projection from different sides creates the illusion of the pair doing its synchronized dance.

After Husslein came up with the idea of the mirror projection on paper, he set out to buy

twelve fish tanks with the necessary equipment and twelve small – for lack of the correct

name – “Big Eyes Fish” at the local market and, eventually, built the installation, undisturbed

by the ongoing construction, during the Chinese New Year holidays.


The installation definitely had the effect that Husslein had hoped for. “The Chinese workers

of the building told me that the fish in the windows were the topic in many conversations

they could hear during lunch breaks. They thought it was funny that the building became

famous in the neighbourhood.”


Elaborating on the fish tank concept of this installation, Husslein plans a sequel at a gallery

space “where the audience will feel like [they are] inside a fishbowl.”


Text by www.xymara.com






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