How did you celebrate this year’s autumnal equinox? Well, I’m guessing that you didn’t do anything. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t even know what the autumnal equinox is. Don’t be embarrassed — Westerners generally don’t focus on lunar-based holidays that much, so the autumnal equinox usually comes and goes in America without a lot of notice.
It may not cause much of a fuss over here, but in China, it’s a pretty big deal. During the mid-Autumn festival, Chinese people munch on moon cakes (a traditional dish with a history spanning back several thousand years) and look to the night sky. You see, the mid-autumn festival is the night when the moon is at its brightest and fullest. According to legend, the goddess of the moon, Chang’e, could visit her earthbound husband on that night because the moon was close enough to the Earth for the two to meet.
The Hong Kong-based design firm Daydreamers Design celebrated the mid-autumn festival this year by constructing “Rising Moon.” As the name suggests, this temporary installation attempted to capture the silvery beauty of the moon on that fateful night.
All of those glowing points of light are actually upside-down, recycled plastic water bottles that contain LEDs, like a modern spin on traditional Chinese paper lanterns. Because Rising Moon is just a temporary installation, Daydreamers Design wanted to draw attention to sustainability by incorporating recycled products into the core design.
The beautiful display is even more stunning at night when the half-dome reflects off of the surrounding water to create a perfectly spherical shape. The lights also flicker between colors and patterns to replicate the changing phases of the moon.
Rising Moon is a perfect example of how to subtly use water to enhance a design. Daydreamers Design did not actually work with water in the design — there are no manmade pools of water, fish tanks, or waterfalls. What they did do, however, was brilliantly utilize the surrounding aquascape to transform a glowing half-dome into a glittering full moon.
You may want to keep that design principle in mind as you consider an aquascape for your home or office. The reflective surface of water is so captivating that sometimes all you have to do to create a beautiful aquascape is place something eye-catching near the surface of the water (especially if you happen to have several thousand plastic bottles lying around).
Rising Moon also emphasizes how beautiful green artwork can be (green as in environmentally friendly, not green as in the color). It’s normally hard to imagine how a plastic bottle could be anything other than yesterday’s trash, but Daydreamers Design perfectly demonstrated how to transform something old into something beautiful.
So, what’s your opinion on Rising Moon? Is this a gorgeous work of aquatic art that’s a fitting centerpiece for one of China’s biggest holidays? Or is it just a big glowing pile of trash?