All images courtesy of the artist and FAOU Foundation
Amidst the tenuous circumstances and health concerns surrounding Rio de Janeiro’s upcoming Summer Olympics, there is a beacon shining through the darkness—literally. Japanese artist Mariko Mori is currently in the thick of installing a “ring of light” at the top of the 190 feet-tall Véu da Noiva waterfall. The suspended ring will appear to hover angelically, and its color will change from blue to gold depending on the angle of sunlight reflecting off of it.
Culturally endorsed by Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Ring: One with Nature will finish installing at the end of July and will premiere officially on August 2nd, three days before the Olympic Opening Ceremony. But unlike the 17-day sporting event, Mori’s illuminated ring is actually intended as a permanent installation within its surrounding landscape.
“I hope to create a unifying symbol of humanity and nature. Ring signifies oneness, eternity, and completeness. The installation is meant to extend our remote ancestors’ tradition of honoring nature,” Mori tells The Creators Project. The permanence of the piece aligns perfectly with this philosophy: so long as it remains hovering over the waterfall, it will continue to serve as a symbol of unity.
Mori herself is no stranger to large-scale light installations. In 2011, the artist erected Sun Pillar, a bright, metallic 14-foot-tall structure of layered acrylic on Japan’s Miyako Island. Her shift from Japan to Brazil for Ring goes beyond the occasion of the Olympics: “Seven years ago I had a dream in which a heavenly ring appeared above a waterfall,” Mori recalls to The Creators Project. “I was then invited to present a survey exhibition which traveled to three cities in Brazil in 2011. I decided to look for and found the waterfall that was in my dream during my visit for the exhibition,”
If you're in Rio de Janeiro for the upcoming Summer Olympics, or find yourself visiting anytime thereafter, Ring: One with Nature can be seen near the city on top of the Véu da Noiva waterfall near the city of Mangaratiba in the state of Rio de Janeiro. For more information, visit the website of Mori’s FAOU Foundation.