Ring around the world: Mariko Mori creates a cascading installation for the Rio 2016 Olympics
For all the heartwarming – occasionally bone-shattering – excitement that the Rio Olympics has already delivered, the events’s legacy is destined to be remembered as much for by the seedy realities of doping, corruption and social tumult as the momentary, borderless merging of culture and race (an especially worthwhile sentiment given the current nadir in global affairs).
Given that, it’s positive to hear of other corresponding initiatives happening around the games in the sprint of oneness. A case in point is Mariko Mori’s Ring: One with Nature – a new permanent installation in Cunhambebe State Park, located in Mangaratiba, Rio de Janeiro State.
The artwork comprises a luminous ring, suspended at the top of the 58m-high Véu da Noiva waterfall. As the sun cycle changes throughout the day, the piece will change colour, segueing from blue to gold. Site-specific and dependent on its dramatic natural surroundings, Ring has been conceived to advocate environmental protection.
This isn’t the first time Mori – one of the last half century’s most important Japanese artists – has made an impact in the region. For most of 2011, her ’Oneness’ exhibition toured three Brazilian cities, garnering over half a million visitors in Rio alone.
Ring is presented by the non-profit environmental art organisation Faou Foundation, with endorsement from the Celebra Cultural Program of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Says Marcus Vinicius Ribeiro, an advisory board member of Faou, ’Ring: One with Nature has been more than five years in the making and the artwork is something which will now be enjoyed by many for years to come. […] As a permanent installation, Ring: One with Nature will contribute to the legacy of the Olympic Games, the history of Faou Foundation, and the international art scene of Brazil.’
The installation was launched on 2 August, with a ceremony featuring an exclusive performance by Mori. ’It is a pleasure to share Ring: One with Nature with the people of Brazil as well as visitors from around the world,’ she says. ’I hope Ring will inspire viewers to create a ring within their own hearts and connect with others to create a chain of rings across the world in the spirit of oneness.’