FUHA Fuorisalone 2015 Milan
Air is everywhere, wether you see and feel it or nt, and FUHA, a multi sensory artistic platform where air itself becomes the designer, allows the visitor to become aware of the presence of air in many different ways.
FUHA derives its name from two Japanese expressions for human breath: FU is the sound of air blown by someone to cool down something; HA is the sound of human breath blown with a wide open mouth to warm something up, like one’s hands in winter.
The first installation we meet is TIME: a sequence of five hand painted 1:1 scaled drawings representing the effects of air on a tree over time. The tree changes its size, of course, over time, but it is also forged by the effects of air and wind.
The drawings hang freely and at a distance from the wall, so that air has an effect also on them, as paper can move freely with the flow of air.
VOLUME is an installation exploring the theme of the volume that air occupies, although unseen. In this case, the idea was to represent air’s volume through the distortion caused by air balloons placed between mirrored metal sheets in different colours.
FICTION is a landscape in a sequence of five glass domes containing five different scenarios, representing the effects of wind. The scenarios are placed under the glass domes and lie over burnt wood geometric plinths.
They represent scenes that remind visitors of feelings and situations tied to air effects they experience in life: a miniature plastic bag blown by the wind; a door moving back and forth; a curtain moving thanks to wind blowing through an open window; canes moving in the wind. The breeze inside the domes is produced by a fa hidden behind a metal grid, with the help of two servos to move door and window, and an Arduino MEGA to produce the right sequence of blown air and movements, coordinating them all.
POWER: in a separate room, a Leonardo-like large creation was moving for visitors, representing the power of invisible air, coupled with that of water, when human intervention combines them together to exploit them. A big fan activated a flow of water, which, in turn, activated a series of other little fans, connected in harmonicas producing different sounds. An entirely mechanic and consequential process, similar to what happens in wind and water mills.
IMPRINT: a printing station meant to capture a person’s act of blowing and air flow, by scanning it and reproducing it in print through the waves of water it generates. The first part of the installation is composed by a mirrored tank containing water and with a precise area where visitors can blow.
Their blow, captured by a sensor, activates the hidden scanner and a series of rights of variable intensity, proportional to the blow strength. The sensor control, the activation of the scanner and of the lights, are managed by an Arduino UNO.
The scanned water waves, generated by the blow, are then printed by a printer hanging on the second table, and the print then slides on a medal slipway for the visitor to take home.
YOURS AND OURS: A burnt wood shelving is used to show a large number of rounded transparent glass shapes, each one of them closed by a wooden clamp.
Every shape represents the blowing strength of one of the designers working on the FUHA exhibit. To prepare this piece, they went to a Murano glass blower and actually blew the glass shapes themselves. Each shape carries an engraved metal tag with the name of the designer who blew it.
A very creative and innovative way of presenting the team who created the FUHA exhibit, indeed!
Finally, we’d like to describe Direction, an indoor installation me of nine paper kites, shaped as windsocks. Each one of the kites is different from the other in pattern and texture, and is made of plotter cut paper, and then mounted on wood. The first impression the visitor gathers when getting near the installation is that of wind blowing through them.
But at a second consideration, the visitor realizes that it’s only a perception and is different from reality: theres’ actually no airflow, no wind blowing through the kites, but only a vibration and the noise it makes. In fact, each one of the kites carries a vibrator, one like those used in mobile phones, but larger. The sequence of the vibrations, starting from the central kite and extending in parallel to the other kites, one after the other, two at a time, is coordinated by an Arduino MEGA.
We chose the pieces that hit most our imagination, and, of course, those using an Arduino, to show how art and electronics can work together to create an installation.
The exhibit is well worth a visit, whether you can make it in the next couple of days during the Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone Week or you can go an visit it somewhere else later on.
A special thanks to Angelo Semeraro by Fabrica for being an amazing host and guide in both Fabrica’s exhibits.
Photos credits: Fabrica
by Silvia Bianchi