Korea – Asif Khan unveiled a 10-metre-high super-black pavilion entirely coated in Vantablack VBx2, a super black pigment able to absorb 99% of the light that hits its surface, which contrasts with the blinding white snow of the at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018.
Vantablack VBx2 is a sprayable version of Vantablack colour, which British artist Anish Kapoor controversially acquired exclusive rights for in 2016.
The building’s exterior is illuminated by thousands of tiny white lights which, during the day, simulate a field of stars that appear to float in mid-air. The result is an astonishing diminishing of three dimensionality which creates the illusion of a startling black void in broad daylight.
“From a distance the structure has the appearance of a window looking into the depths of outer space.” Says Asif Khan to Archipanic. “As you approach it, this impression grows to fill your entire field of view. So on entering the building, it feels as though you are being absorbed into a cloud of blackness.”
Inside, Khan has designed a vast water room – a multi-sensory hydrophobic water installation which emits 25,000 singular water droplets every minute. Visitor interaction with a series of haptic sensors creates new rhythms as droplets continually collide, join, and split across the water landscape, which appears “like a city viewed from space”.
“The water installation visitors discover inside is brightly lit in white. As your eyes adjust, you feel for a moment that the tiny water drops are at the scale of the stars. In the project I wanted to move from the scale of the cosmos to the scale of water droplets in a few steps. The droplets contain the same hydrogen from the beginning of the universe as the stars.” Comments Asif Khan.
The pavilion has been commissioned by Hyundai Motor as part of a series of projects that highlight Hyundai’s mission to enhance people’s lives through ease of mobility. With its pioneering technology for the world’s first Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle, Hyundai envisions a future society where mobility is both sustainable and accessible.
The world’s first super-black building inaugurated on the occasion of the Opening Ceremony of 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea.
All photos by Luke Hayes – Courtesy of Asif Khan.