Artist Fills 400 Black Balloons with Different Gases for Magical Effect

And they all could burst at any second.

by Francesca Capossela
Jul 21 2016, 3:14pm

All images courtesy of the artist

Two black balloons, one filled with helium and one filled with sulfur hexafluoride, are connected by their strings. The gases cause the helium balloon to float and the sulfur hexafluoride balloon to sink, creating a parallel vertical structure. This was the first piece in Tadao Cern’s latest installation, Black Balloons. Once he had created the piece, which he calls "unpretentious" and "magical," Cern decided to experiment further with balloons. He made black metal frames for the balloons, creating an interesting play on three dimensionality. Then, he lined up four hundred balloons in different combinations, creating more parallel effects and increasingly interesting spacial experiments. Using the balloon, which is deeply associated with childhood, Cern evokes the sense of discovery and exploration which is essential to his work philosophy.

Perhaps the most important part of Black Balloons is its ephemerality. Because balloons have a  short life span, Cern’s piece is indefinite. Cern says he hopes that viewers will be able to see the exhibition while the pieces are still "alive." But it is exactly the balloons’ temporality which gives the installation a quality of truly being alive. Along these lines,  Black Balloons is also especially adaptive to its surroundings. Viewers’ presence shapes the installation; their movement and breath causes a rustling in the extremely sensitive balloons. Based in Lithuania, Cern has previously worked as an architect, switching to photography six years ago. Curiosity is uniquely important to his philosophy as an artist and he has begun to experiment with other media. 

To learn more about the artist, visit his website.

Via Creative Boom


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