Astana 2017 – Asif Khan and Brian Eno inaugurated the British Pavilion at Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan. “Expo main theme is ‘Future Energy’, we decided to explore the origin of energy and its evolution starting from the beginning of the universe, 13.8 billions years ago” Explains Asif Khan.
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Guided by light and sound installation visitors “are taken through the creation of the sun, the earth, the landscape around us, the weather system, human ingenuity and civilization“. The pavilion showcases also some of the UK greatest break-through in the energy sector including the steam engine and the light-bulb but also DNA research, the world wide web and the UK’s most recent global innovation: graphene, the strongest, thinnest and most permeable material known to man, whose potential is limitless.
At the heart of the UK pavilion, a 60 metre panorama depicts a living, universal landscape generated entirely by computer. It captures the relationship between the Sun, the Earth and its climate in incredible detail through virtual day and night.
The panorama surrounds a centrepiece high-tech structure inspired by the architecture of yurts, traditional round tents of Kazak nomad communities. The installation links the past with future technologies: its transparent spokes respond to human touch with illumination, which in turn influences the landscape around it, gently altering its weather in reaction to visitor activity.
An original soundscape by musician and producer Brian Eno unfolds in parallel with this journey. It takes visitors from a single tone at the entrance and exit, and builds to a continuous, richly layered composition of sounds, immersing people as they view the landscape.
“Our pavilion dares to asks a question. If we can realise we are all energy, connected to each other and to everything from the beginnings of time, how might it affect the way we think about energy in the future?”
All photos by Luke Hayes – courtesy of the UK Pavilion.