As part of the Korea/UK season of cultural collaboration, Kimchi and Chips, a Seoul-based art studio founded by Elliot Woods (UK) and Mimi Son (South Korea) installed a large work entitled Halo in the public space of the Somerset House courtyard for the month of June.
In perfect conditions (full sun, no cloud, no breeze), the 99 circular mirrors, which were programmed to follow the sun as it arcs across the sky, were designed to create a halo out of reflected sunlight inscribed in a cloud of fine mist created by an array of water jets.
LKL visited the installation three times, and on no occasion were the climatic conditions perfect: either some fair weather cloud was obscuring the sun; or the lightest of breezes persisted in wafting the watery mist away from the reflected sunbeams, or (on what would otherwise have been a perfect occasion) the sun had just dipped below the roofline of the courtyard’s west wing. Here are our disappointing efforts:
Many other visitors had the same experience. Perhaps the best image of the halo comes from Haberdashery who posted this on their Twitter feed:
Somerset House also managed to get a reasonable shot to act as lead image for their exhibition page…
…and did not manage to get a better view in their official video of the piece.
As it euphemistically says, though, in the text accompanying the installation: “Halo is the first [work] in which [Kimchi and Chips] have worked solely with natural light and embraced the unpredictability of the weather”. When it’s the British summer you’re dealing with, that’s tricky.