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Moving WAVES

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Moving WAVES

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Since mid-July, WAVES by Nicolas Sassoon has been on view at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Skytrain Station. This is the second commission the CAG has produced for this public space. The first was Scott Massey’s poetic blue sky.

Currently Nicolas Sassoon’s graphic mural is installed on the north window of the Station. For this work, Nicolas created a multi-layer Moire pattern to intentional cause an optical effect that gives an impression of movement – so commuters can see WAVES “moving” as they are passing by to catch their train.

The installation seems to evolve during the day with the change of light. WAVES is highlighted in the morning from the inside of the station, because of the rising sun, and from the outside in the late afternoon. The wind also accentuates the pattern by making the layer vibrate gently and when a train passes through the turbulence adds a dramatic tension.

Every day I commute through this station myself, and as I go down the stairs, I can sense the effect’s of the mural.  It catches my field of vision and when I look closer, I notice the coloured screen of WAVES, which not only draws my attention to my own movement but also the trees and the light outside through its pixels.

Nicolas Sassoon’s Off-site project WAVES will remain on view at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line until January 20, 2013.

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Amélie Puget

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WAVES by Vancouver based and French born artist Nicolas Sassoon is the second commissioned work for the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station as part of the CAG’s offsite exhibition programme. It is part of Sassoon’s ongoing body of work using Moiré patterns – a visual blur inadvertently discovered by Swiss photographer Ernst Moiré – whereby two images are overlaid to create a third ‘plane’. The resulting optical effect causes the eye to see movement where there is none.

The Moiré pattern designed for the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station is created by physical layering a symmetrical configuration of vertical, curved black lines on top of a coloured pixelated background. With no focal point the mural is activated by the movement of the viewer. As commuters pass by the two overlapping planes, horizontal waves appear to undulate rhythmically across the surface. Initially disorientating, sustained viewing creates an immersive effect, altering our usual encounter with the entrance of the station, erasing its glass side as if revealing another dimension.

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Nicolas Sassoon - WAVES


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Related Learning

Artist Nicolas Sassoon talks on his work and his exhibition WAVES at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line, Vancouver.

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Artist Talk | Nicolas Sassoon


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