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Fronds by Taeg Nishimoto


Fronds is a series of floor/table lamps that combines clear vinyl fabric, clear polyester sheet and salt. It also presents itself as a vase for plants and flowers. It is an exploration in the making of a new kind of association between nature and its presence in space.

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Each lamp has five sides connected in the center. Each side has three overlapped inner layers of frond-shaped polyester sheets and one outer layer of clear vinyl fabric that wraps each side vertically. The polyester sheet is coated with salt crystals (combination of both coarse and standard) applied with clear liquid rubber that gives the inner layers a translucent texture that reacts to the light, both from outside and inside when it’s lit.

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At the inside top of these five connected “fronds,” there is a transparent vessel that can hold plants and flowers, making the lamp appear as a vase. At the bottom where the LED tube light bulb is located, a clear acrylic tube with color film is optionally placed. When the light is turned on with this colored film inside, the color projects on the surface of the salt-textured surface at the bottom.

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The outer layer of clear vinyl fabric gives an impression of a veil around the translucent inner layers. In both lit and unlit states of the lamp, the vinyl fabric reacts to the light differently, visible and invisible as well as reflective and translucent.

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The production of vinyl uses salt as 57% of its ingredients. The clear vinyl fabric, while it appears transparent and smooth in the naked eyes, actually has a complex texture that only becomes visible when it’s seen in the shadows cast by sunlight. It creates an effect of transparency and reflection with a softer and almost tactile quality. The common salt crystal is perfectly cubic and translucent, while coarse salt is obviously larger, irregular and less translucent.

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The randomly applied thin layer of the combination of both common and coarse salt on the transparent polyester surface creates a texture that reacts to the light in a subtle and yet organic way. It is an experiment in bridging the perception of what is natural and what is synthetic, via combining the physical presence of salt crystals and vinyl fabric as materials, leaving the light to reveal it. The lamps are 45cm diameter at the top and 60cm tall.

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