Shadow Bath is a luminous pneumatic bathhouse commissioned for iLight Marina Bay in Singapore, Asia’s leading sustainable light festival. For the fourth edition the festival’s curatorial team invited artists to respond to the theme of “In Praise of Shadows”, inspired by Junichiro Tanizaki’s seminal essay of the same title. Challenging the obsession that brighter is better and seeking to reframe perceptions of light and sustainability. Our studio’s response was to create an experience that works with the sun during the day to cast huge patterns across the landscape, whilst during nightfall a low power LED light source illuminates from within.
The Shadow Bath is mapped with a black optical pattern and inflated with light & air, casting psychedelic patterns inside and out, bathing visitors in shades of dark. Its inflated form is a pure mathematical toroidal space, the geometry of the universe. It is said that the torus defines and underpins all structure, both at the atomic and planetary level. Its form is defined by two simple parameters: the radius of the torus and the radius of the tube. Space itself is not flat, but curved. In particle physics, the torus is known to provide the best environment within which to accelerate particles as it can hold and route the plasma formed by such machines in an efficient manner.
“The most foundational pattern of energy flow in the universe if that of the Torus with the angles and proportions of the compression of the space curling toward stillness (singularity) in the centre being expressed by Phi – 1:1.618 – the Golden Ratio in Fibonacci number scalar spiral field patterning…” – Nassim Haramein
Visitors were invited to bathe around the bathhouse for a meditative light & sound experience as it throws its moire shadows far and wide.
The taught membrane becomes a resonator where music by artist Ansuman Biswas vibrates the inflated space. The soundscape was created on a hang drum, an instrument similar in geometry to the toroidal shadow bath. Listen to the track on Soundcloud here.
Art Direction & Concept Design
Rachel Wingfield & Mathias Gmachl
Creative Technical Direction
Karla Torio Rivera