A crystal clear waterfall runs through the colorful and vigorous rainforest in Brazil located in a close proximity of Rio de Janeiro. The sun reflects off the water surface that falls from the top of the majestic, vivacious hill. And just when you think that the site couldn't be more beautiful, a giant translucent ring appears in the sky above the fall. This mesmerizing ring is the latest artwork by Mariko Mori, inspired both by the diversity of nature in Brazil and the upcoming Olympic games. This luminous 6m-high sculpture will be the second in line of the artist's environment-inspired artworks that combine nature and art thus highlighting the interconnects of all things on earth.
In 2010, artist Mariko Mori created Faou Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission of spreading environmental awareness through confronting nature with art. The project is based on three pillars: eternity, completeness, and "oneness" (the element of the Buddhist philosophy that highlights the interrelations of everything around us). At the same time, the artist has envisioned a long term project, that many consider to be the modern day Stonehenge, because it involves placing monumental sculptures on carefully chosen sites around the globe. The realization started in 2011 when the first sculpture entitled Sun Pillar was set up on the Japanese island of Okinawa. This 14-foot-tall opaque megalith is a part of a larger installation entitled Primal Rhythm that will consist of two sculptures carefully aligned with the sun.
Soon the citizens of Brazil will also have the opportunity to enjoy Mariko Mori's monumental work. For her second environmental piece, the artist has chosen the motif of the ring, that will, in her own words “metaphorically add a sixth ring” to the Olympic symbol’s iconic five. The large-scale sculpture entitled Ring : One With Nature will interact with the environment and change colors from blue to gold depending on the time of day and the position of the sun. In a conversation with The Art Newspaper, the artist stated that the installation will “combine the energy of the earth, the water, the stones, the sky and the rain, to inspire the idea of our interconnectedness with nature and with one another”. A massive land art piece is located above Véu da Noiva waterfalls only half an hour away from of Rio de Janeiro and it will be unveiled to the public on August 2nd, 2016 just a few day before the beginning of the Olympic games.
Mariko Mori is one of the best-known Japanese artists whose otherworldly sculptures gained her worldwide recognition. Throughout her career, the artist has dealt with such themes as spirituality, technology, and feminism but environmental issues represent her most recent obsession. The ongoing project led by her Faou Foundation aims to set up one large-scale sculpture on every continent on the globe thus creating a network of contemporary artworks inspired by the Pyramids and stone totems of Easter Island. Brazil was chosen as the only country in South America that will be graced by the artist's celestial sculptures and Mariko Mori will also participate in the Torch Relay, by carrying the Olympic torch trough Rio de Janeiro. Ring : One With Nature artwork will remain permanently on the site as a symbol of symbioses between art, nature and human beings.
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