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Chinese Artists Create Social Mood Art in Beijing

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

Mood Swings at Beijing”™s Water Cube
by Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore
Wall Street Journal
June 25, 2013


Beijing”™s Water Cube is perhaps best known as the place where Michael Phelps won eight gold medals. This week, it became the site for something altogether different: a real-time “painting” of China”™s mood, as revealed by Sina Weibo emoticons.

“Nature and Man in Rhapsody of Light at the Water Cube,” a collaboration between the artist Jennifer Wen Ma and lighting designer Zheng Jianwei, opened last Sunday. Using the former Olympics venue”™s distinctive exterior, it broadcasts the sentiments of the Chinese social-media service”™s millions of users through an interactive lighting display that runs from dusk to 10 p.m. daily.


“I have conceived this as a piece that can breathe,” says Ms. Ma, who turns 40 this week, “as an organic being that changes as nature and society around it changes. I want people to feel like they have some authorship because their emotions are being registered.” (more…)