Crystal Palace: The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nuclear Nations (2013)
Materials: Uranium glass, antique chandeleir frames and electrical components, UV lights
Dimensions: variable (31 pieces)
See an Interview with Ken+Julia on the opening of their full installation at the Singapore Biennale
Conceived in response to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, the work is comprised of 31 chandeliers. Antique chandelier frames have been refitted with uranium glass and UV lighting; once switched on, the UV bulbs cause the glass beads to glow with a haunting green. The 31 pieces signal the 31 nuclear nations of the world, and the size of each chandelier corresponds to the number of operating nuclear plants in that nation. The title of the work references the grandiose building designed for the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London, hinting at the tension between human ambition, technological development, and its costs and consequences. The Singapore Biennale 2013 marked the completion of this series and its world premiere showing in Southeast Asia, a region without nuclear power plants.