The London-based duo, Japanese designer Azusa Murakami and British designer Alexander Groves, wanted their installation to be reminiscent of cherry blossom trees.
Called New Spring, the six-metre high structure consists of slender tubes that extend up and out like the branches of a tree. Large translucent bubbles emerge from the ends of each branch. These bubbles burst when they come into contact with skin, but not when they touch textured fabrics – meaning visitors can handle them with gloves. As they burst, a pale mist is released.
Like many of Studio Swine’s past projects – which include accessories made from hair and furniture produced from ocean plastic, the installation is an exploration of unusual materials. Recycled aluminium was used to create the sculptural tree. It is on show inside Cinema Arti, a movie theatre built in the 1930s by local architect Mario Cereghini.
The pair said they looked to Milan’s architectural heritage when developing the form of this installation. “We were immediately drawn to the Murano chandeliers housed in private Milanese palazzos and, by contrast, the tradition of modernist Italian design,” they explained. “With a desire to create a communal experience, another key reference for us became Italy’s public fountains, one of the country’s greatest luxuries.”
Watch the film below.