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3D 'Air Drawing' Produces Lunar Long Exposure Photographs

"Lunar Surface," the dimension-bending new project by Kimchi and Chips, blends new 3D scanning technologies with old photographic techniques.
June 20, 2014, 4:40pm

All images courtesy of the artists

Kimchi and Chips, the Seoul-based art and design duo responsible for this pupil-widening audiovisual installation, amazing projection-mapping works, as well as a choreographed light sculpture, have debuted their newest project—a long exposure photography endeavor that uses a projector and a 3D camera to replicate the illustrious glow of the moon right here on Earth.

Entitled Lunar Surface, the effort by Mimi Son and Elliot Woods (Kimchi and Chips, respectively) represents an unprecedented journey into the world of fantasy; quite literally, the live production of the inherently imaginary. Blending two documentation mediums—the 2D photographic print, and the 3D digital realm—into one extruded light painting, the result is a ghastly manufactured apparition of the lunar surface in thin air.

Below, light-painted process shots of Lunar Surface in full bloom:

Kimchi and Chips elucidate the project on their website:

A vertical flag of fabric is stroked by the wind, displaced by curves of air pressure, swinging back and forth. As it sweeps, it extrudes a trail of light which draws a moon floating in space. The flag renders this moon from another reality, the silk surface acts as a boundary between 2 realities, intermediating the laws of the 2 realms.


Inspired by the 2 moons of Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 and the flags of space travel, the artists present a portal into another existence where another moon orbits. This other place is made material by the fabric of the flag.

Long exposure photography trades the dimension of time for a dimension of space, extruding the moon into existence on a set of photographic prints, the technology capturing a painting, enacted by the details of the wind.

Lunar Surface begins a new line of enquiry for drawing into the air for studio Kimchi and Chips, forming artistic collaborations between technology and nature. The fabric is tracked by a 3D camera whilst a projector replays a response onto it according to its evolving shape.

Below, Kimchi and Chips have also released two videos to illustrate how their new work developed from eclipse to waxing crescent to full moon (so to speak):

Before taking the project outdoors, the artists worked in-studio to bring their moon to life. Here, they've provided us with a couple behind-the-scenes snapshots that show their project in its "waxing" phase:

For more reality-bending design/science from Kimchi and Chips, follow Elliot Woods and Mimi Son on Twitter. 


Architectural Web Of Threads Gets Irradiated In Remarkable Audio-Visual Installation

Nature and Tech Talk: A Q&A with Kimchi and Chips

Planetary Panorama Offers 360° View Of The Starry Cosmos

Projection Mapped Gods Bring Mexican Trees To Life