Room for one colour

Room for one colour, by Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson was the most “wow” exhibition for me. Having an entire space illuminated with only a single colour of light, yellow, from mono-frequency lamps, I experienced what I’d like to call, an experience in 20th century television.

It takes a little while for the eyes to adapt to a sudden change in environment, as our notion of colour is instantly wiped, and yellow and black floods into our vision. Once our eyes adapt, we can once again have a close look at our surroundings, the details.

What I found really awakening about this exhibit was that it makes us think; what reality is to us can be highly shaped by our own vision of things. While the surroundings are nothing out of the ordinary, we are definitely “seeing things in a different light”.

The cleanliness and blank space of the room only guides us to wonder further on how different the world we see can be, how through another perspective everything around us can be different, even the presumably white walls, though ordinary, becomes dyed new.

Olafur Eliasson’s installation Room for one colour (1997) is the final work in the National Gallery’s exhibition Monochrome: Painting in Black and White (until 18 February 2018). The exhibition spans seven centuries and includes 50 works by artists who have—in most cases—deliberately turned to monochrome in their art, whether it me black and white paintings, grisaille drawings, yellow and black stained glass or a room filled with yellow light. “

On further reading, this exhibit lets us alter our perspective on things; consider that other animals have different visual spectrum from humans, the very same world can be seen in complete difference. Finally, it reminds us of how even the human being, though a social animal, could be invisible or isolated while physically together.

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