Atelier YokYok Cobalt Muffin Installation

Atelier YokYok,

Atelier YokYok,


Installation, Squares,


French architecture firm, Atelier YokYok has designed an original artwork specifically for Shanghai Yuyuan Road. The temporary installation, promoted by CREATER, is a new attraction and facilitator for the district and will stay in place until July 2020.

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Atelier YokYok Cobalt Muffin Installation The use of art to regenerate the urban context is a solution we’re coming across more and more in our cities. Giant sculptures during the London Design Festival (link), murals that inject colour into suburbs (link Boa Mistura), or brightly-coloured, joyful installations like the ones that go up every year for the FAV in Montpellier (link).
Atelier YokYok was commissioned by CREATER to create an original artwork designed specifically for Yuyuan Road in Shanghai for a very good reason, even though it’s the Paris-based studio’s first installation in China. Because they stood out for their playful approach to the urban context during FAV 2015, with their work Les Voûtes Filantes (link), where they used cobalt blue rope for the first time, crafting a temporary structure inside an old garden.
They rekindled this rope weaving technique also for this installation called Cobalt Muffin in the vibrant Yuyuan Road zone of Shanghai. It is, in itself a really lively district, and the idea behind this art project is to add value to the road. So, the installation is like a small landmark, symbolising the district’s creative heart and soul and its vibrancy, with the urban mix formed of lots of fashion boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, offices standing alongside homes.
Cobalt Muffin floats like a cloud of cobalt blue above a small lawn. Its apparent complexity is actually made of 60 similar triangles, covered in a semi-transparent skin made of elastic rope. Its volume is the result of a hemisphere made of a “rhombic hexecontahedron”. Poles extend the borders of this dome and lift it 2.20 m above the ground. 7.5 km of rope was used to create the installation, along with a tubular metal frame that can withstand tension, time and weather. 
The installation by Atelier YokYok looks light and transparent like it’s floating in air, vaguely reminiscent of a kite or a lantern. It has no formal connection with its position on Yuyuan Road and does not aim to be site-specific in the strict sense of integrating with its location. It is an art object in itself, with its own personality. It beckons you to observe it, to explore its ephemeral space and of course is an invitation to photographers of all kinds, so passersby can appropriate it and take a visual memory away with them. 
Cobalt Muffin offers a bright, colourful connection between geometry and material, rethinking the confines between art and architecture, and at the same time enhancing the experience of people using Yuyuan Road in Shanghai.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: Atelier YokYok - https://www.atelieryokyok.com/
Location: Shanghai, China
Year: 2019
Installation from 1 October 2019 to 1 July 2020
Images: Courtesy of Atelier YokYok


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