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Artist Miya Ando’s Bioluminescent Leaves Emit a Soft Nighttime Glow

Ando’s floating poetry also mimics bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico that are populated by singled-celled dinoflagellates.

Story by Tafline Laylin - Source: http://inhabitat.com
Photo © Miya Ando

Photo © Miya Ando

Japanese and Russian artist Miya Ando released 1,000 floating bioluminescent leaves on a Puerto Rican pond in a glorious site-specific installation that lasted just a single day. The leaves appear clear during the day and radiate a soft blue glow at night. The project was commissioned by Puerto Rico’s Fist Art Foundation.

Photo © Miya Ando

Photo © Miya Ando

Named after the Japanese Obon Festival, which commemorates the spirit of the dead and is said to guide ancestral spirits home with floating lanterns, Ando’s floating poetry also mimics bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico that are populated by singled-celled dinoflagellates. When these organisms are disturbed, they light up like water-bound fireflies.

Photo © Miya Ando

Photo © Miya Ando

The 1,000 ficus leaves collected locally were coated with a non-toxic resin and phosphorescence that actually absorbed energy from the sun during the day, appearing totally clear, but then at night they lit up, creating a tranquil, otherworldly ambience that absolutely thrilled onlookers. Spoon & Tamago recently interviewed Ando in her studio. Follow the link to find out what she said about this special public commissions.

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