Fan Mirror, 2013
153 folding hand fans, motors, video camera,
Control electronics, custom software, microcontroller, wood armature and base
7.7 x 13.1 x 3 ft / 2.35 x 4 x .93 m
Fan Mirror is a free-standing sculpture that measures thirteen feet across. Its overall shape and rounded frame suggest the folded oriental hand fan, a decorative object that first emerged in the 10th century and gained popularity during the Ming Dynasty. The sculpture is comprised of seventeen ribbed wooden spokes that support a total of 153 hand fans, in an array of sizes and colors, from Korea, China, Taiwan, Spain and Japan. Crafted from materials ranging from sandalwood and synthetic silk to plastic, each fan is actuated by a motor that is computer controlled, causing the bands to spread open and rhythmically close. Sweeping patterns roll across Fan Mirror’s arced surface, blossoming in rings that resemble an onion peel or peacock’s tail. The sequence of movement in this work is directed in part by the viewer’s engagement. When approached at close range, the fans, which are also connected to a camera, move to create a rough silhouette of the viewer within the sculpture. When viewing from a distance, the movement is generated by an algorithm programmed by the artist.