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'Experiments with light design can transform indoor spaces'

New Delhi, July 31 : Chandeliers, fairy lights and lantern-lamps...we've seen them all. But the combination of glass and light has found new wings, as it is getting used in the light design industry to make unique 'light sculptures' that compete with traditional art.

In February this year, light designers Prateek Jain and Gautam Seth, made an electric 'glass peacock' that was the piece de resistance at India's special presentation at German trade fair 'Ambiente'.

In July, they made an art installation out of 120 discarded blue-coloured alcohol bottles, giving out messages of sustainability, art and technology. The large-scale light sculpture -- 'Sapphire Supernova' -- re-thinks scrap metal, thrown-away glass and LED lights.

As one of the pioneers of the Indian light design industry, Jain finds it growing beyond the cliched chandeliers.

"I find many people who look at these light designs as a substitute for an art piece. Many love the light sculptures of a 'necklace' and would rather put that on the wall than a painting. That taste has evolved.

"People who put chandeliers are not looking for a source of light, but an art conversation piece. These light pieces are more sculptural and become talking points, which enhance the look and feel of a home," the designer told IANS at their studio, Klove, where he said installation is currently on view.

About the buyer-base of light installations, he said that it has increased substantially.

"When we started in 2005, people did not even know there's something called blown glass. Everyone assumed that it comes only from the Czech Republic or Italy. India is at a nascent stage, but when we exhibit on international platforms, we are not considered inferior to others," the designer said.

Jain and Seth would be debuting at the Milan Design Week in 2020.

Not just indoor light art, lighting has long been used to enhance buildings. A case-in-point is the US Embassy here, which recently bathed its facade in rainbow lights to support the LGBTQ+ community.

Why use lights? "To make a statement, to stand for something or to highlight a space, lighting can completely change the game," Jain said.

Asked about the future of light design, Jain expressed hope.

"Technology is getting integrated into the light design, like just about everything else. Apps drive lights now; LED lights can be programmed to change colours and mood, they can be programmed to turn on or turn off as per movement or heat sensitivity. There is experimentation with mobility of the sculptures and kinetic installations and all of it is driven by technology," Jain added.

'Sapphire Supernova', their latest installation, is part of the 'Stir Creativity' campaign by gin brand Bombay Sapphire, which intends to display later it in a partner restaurant and donate the money generated.

(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at siddhi.j@ians.in)

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'Experiments with light design can transform indoor spaces'


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