Stainless Steel and the Artist
Stainless steel, as you will no doubt already know, is one of the most versatile materials known to man at the present time and so it is literally everywhere, in so many products that there is no real way to even start counting them. Suffice to say that if the metal suddenly ceased to exist at this very moment, you would be left with very little in your home: kitchen appliances, boilers, baths, cutlery and your mobile phone would become a pile of useless components and anything help together with screws or nails would collapse.
When it comes to listing the things necessary for your continued happy existence, all of the stuff mentioned above will probably figure pretty importantly. Something that is less immediately thought of is art though, as is evidenced by the total saturation and continued existence of art in all its forms ever since human beings walked out of the jungles thousands of years ago, art is crucial to civilisation. Stainless steel, of course, has found its way into this sector too and many artists are now using the metal as an artistic medium.
Stainless steel is the perfect sculpting material; easily worked, relatively inexpensive and extremely tough and durable. BS Fixings have supplied our stainless steel wire to prominent sculptors and there are many examples of stainless steel art around the world, one of which is 'Kaleidome'.
‘Kaleidome’ was conceived and created by LAAB and has been delighting viewers since it was unveiled at Shatin Park by the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation as part of the Jockey Club Community Arts Biennial last year. It is composed of 262 individual cells, each of which is polished to a mirror finish and becomes a small window that, framing both the internal and external environments, acts like a kaleidoscope. Viewers enter the installation and are immediately greeted with broken, shuffling images of the park and surrounding buildings as the polyhedral cells shift between opaque and transparent.
Once ensconced within the installation, spectators’ eyes are drawn in by a complex network of ‘veins’, each composed of super-thin profiles that ‘visually juxtapose everything on site’. With a curvilinear form, the laser-cut cells are painted in a gradation of blue and red which, applied in an extremely thin layer, preserves the reflective quality of the stainless steel used in fabrication.
‘Kaleidome’ was designed with the use of advanced programming and digital manufacturing techniques. Each cell is a variation on one of 22 unique shapes and has been folded to accurately correspond with the parametric computer model designed by the artists. This method allowed for maximum volume with minimal use of materials, instantly solving problems of limited area, height and budget.
In this sculpture, stainless steel has once again demonstrated its unique versatility among metals. BS Fixings are proud to work with the ubiquitous metal, which facilitates everything from public artworks such as ‘Kaleidome’ to huge engineering projects without which we would have no power, transportation or communication. Or art.
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