‘Contact Lens’ exhibition by Haruka Kojin at Hermès Liat Towers, Singapore
Japanese contemporary artist Haruka Kojin plays with perspectives in her thought-provoking new window installation
At the Hermès store at Liat Towers, a silver chain hangs mid-air, proportions wildly distorted by several innocuous-looking circles of glass. Elsewhere, a piece of fabric is transformed into a bizarre display of shapes and colour.
These real-life optical illusions are the work of contemporary Japanese artist Haruka Kojin. In an exploration of perception and the distortion of reality, Kojin makes use of macro and micro lenses to transform Hermès objects — including illustrated works by prominent architect and cartographer Nigel Peake — into an abstract vision of light and geometry that is as alien as it is intriguing.
Conceived on an express bus watching the landscape fly past, the idea behind the exhibition came from a single question: if we had triangular eyes, what would be the reality that we lived in?
Ironically titled ‘Contact Lens’, the exhibition explores an alternate reality by distorting our perception of objects. “We think of the world that we see as being our reality,” says the artist. “However, the truth is that what we see only looks like it does because of the structure of our eyes. Even a tiny change in that structure can result in seeing a completely different world and perceiving a completely different reality.”
Referring to insects as an example, Kojin explains that as different creatures have different structures in their eyes, they perceive their surroundings in a completely different manner, despite existing in the same world. “As a result, the colors and forms around them seem to be different, and that makes their worlds very different,” she says.
“Humans and insects, like flies for example, may well sense completely different worlds around them, but nevertheless, they could still be eating the same piece of cake. I find that fascinating.”
‘Contact Lens’ will run at Hermès Liat Towers until early October.