Somewhere Over Anaísa Franco's Bubbling Rainbow
“Why can’t everything have life?” says creator Anaísa Franco about her artworks, which use technology as a way to give life and emotions to objects. For example, she’s translated the feeling of frustration with a mirror that virtually breaks into pieces.
In her latest project, Wave of Rainbow, Franco reinvents the rainbow in a public installation at the Hangzhou Xixi National Wetland Park in China. On a bridge over a lake, visitors are faced with a bubbling multicolored translucent semi-tunnel. The piece, developed especially for the Westlake International Invitational Sculpture Exhibition, is made up of 28 acrylic tubes, each one full of water, sensors, air pumps, and LED lights representing the seven main colors in the rainbow. As visitors walk across the bridge, the water inside the iridescent tubes starts bubbling, creating a kind of ‘rainbow wave.’
“The show’s theme was ‘Gazing Between Water and Land,’ at a foothill park by the city. ‘Deep or shallow, the water flows; near and far, the land stands,’ it reads on the brief they sent to me,” Franco said. So we talked a little more about how she translated that idea into Wave of Rainbow
The Creators Project: Your work usually involves technology to translate emotions, elements of nature, or to give life to objects. In this case, you worked with the idea of the rainbow. What was your motivation? What feelings do you relate to this brief natural phenomenon?
Anaísa Franco: Because the show’s theme was gazing between water and land in a park full of swamps, I thought that working with rainbows would be perfect. It’s an optical, immaterial event that happens when water particles and the light make contact in midair on that threshold between land and water. I was also interested in thinking about waves, that are formed between water and land and transport energy and physics from nature. By combining these two manifestations, Wave of Rainbow was conceived, promoting an experience of passage and poetry to people who hang out at the park.
Technically, what were the challenges in making this piece?
The hardest thing was to work with electricity over water and under the rain. It rained a lot during the assembly and some sensors broke off. The team is still working on the interactivity of colors. For now, the piece activates air bubbles when people walk into the rainbow, but within a week, interaction will be complemented by colors activating when people pass through it.
What was the response from people who’ve experienced it?
The project’s intention was to put some fantasy into visitors’ paths, promoting an experience of harmony between technology and nature. People were delighted by the experience of passing through the bridge over water, walking into the colors of the rainbow, seeing the surroundings through the water bubbles, and the reflection of light on the lake.
Virtually experience Wave of Rainbow in the video below, and find out more about Anaísa Franco’s work in the video above.