Delight of Light
Ma Yuru & Wu Mengyue
2012 Supreme WOW Award Winner
2012 Open Section Winner
Delight of Light is a futuristic work of art inspired by ancient mortise and tenon building techniques, found in the beams, brackets, frames and struts of traditional Chinese architecture, as well as older buildings all over the world. Woodworkers have used the techniques for centuries, requiring no nails or glue, but instead structures are fastened with pocketed joints and dowelling, allowing the buildings to stand up through friction and pressure. Delight of Light is held together by shapes slotted into each other, and uses no other fastenings.
‘We hoped to use our imagination to create a beautiful illusionary life like a little fairy’ – Ma Yuru
The garment is inspired by postmodern computational architect Michael Hansmeyer, who uses algorithmic shapes to create hugely complex and geometrically intricate, yet delicate structures that are almost alien. The designers wanted to create a tough silhouette, with a sleek and streamlined design, and plenty of layering, mystery and illusion, whilst strong and powerful too. Though the piece cuts a striking figure onstage, the garment is light and flexible to wear, held together by tension. The slotted shapes create layers of light and shade that, when worn over its black suit, look as though a ghostly skeleton is shining through. The rear has sweeping shoulders and a headpiece, reminiscent of traditional Chinese eaves. The internal structure of Delight of Light has a strong sense of layering and extending.