Culture / Art Republik


Ray King’s floating sculpture combines art and mathematics

Jan 22, 2015 | By Staff Writer

Renowned artist Ray King has taken inspiration from the ancient calculation tool to create his latest sculptural installation “abacus”. Known for his exploration of light and colours, King seeks to create environments that appeal to the viewer’s sense of wonderment and delight. For this specific installation, he focuses on mathematics and geometry. 

Placed above above the college of business’ ‘digital commons’ area at the Oregon State University, King’s creation is made of highly polished, lightweight, stainless steel spheres that are positioned to correspond to the pattern of beads on an abacus. 

This abstract concept actually has a systematic mode of storytelling: 

Twenty-four significant dates in the history of the institution were identified; starting with the year 1858 when the academy was first founded to the opening of the university’s college of business in 2014. “The placement of the spheres corresponds to the position of the beads on the abacus to indicate the number of the year. Each year has four vertical rows of seven spheres – along with a horizontal reckoning bar – associated with the date. Read as an abacus, each row of spheres represents the date of a specific milestone in the history of the university”


As a site-specific public artwork, the installation was created specially to represent the notion of commerce, which is based on calculations from numerical values.

Visit Ray King’s Website here


Abacus 1

Abacus 2

Abacus 3

Abacus 4

Abacus 5

Abacus 7

Abacus 6


via designboom

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