Halo 2018, United Kingdom, London

99 robotic mirrors track the sun to draw a circle of light suspended in a mist of water above the Edmond J Safra Courtyard at Somerset House, continuously sculpting a form which exists between material and immaterial.

Halo forms a circle of light suspended in the air above the Edmond J Safra Courtyard at Somerset House, created by an array of 99 robotic mirrors which move like sunflowers throughout the day to catch the sun. Each mirror reflects a line of sunlight into the mist of water. Together the straight beams are focused together, creating a halo which appears when the sun, wind and water coincide.

An array of 99 robotic mirrors track the sun’s rays to sculpt a form out of sunlight within a cloud of mist. Together the straight beams are shaped together to draw a circle in the air. Collaborating with the natural fluctuations in the climate, Halo appears only for moments when the wind, sun, water and technology align together, creating a form which exists between material and immaterial. Halo was presented at the heart of Somerset House during June, 2018. When the artists visited Somerset House, they were struck by the quality and colour of the sunlight in the courtyard as it reflected from the surrounding building, and the way in which the architecture aligned with the sun at midday of British Summer Time. The isolated volume of natural light and wind, contained within the architecture of the building, presented itself as a canvas for Halo. Kimchi and Chips explore the idea of ‘drawing in the air’, often using light as a medium. This is the first large-scale project in which the artists have worked solely with natural light and embraced the unpredictability of the weather. To achieve this the artists engineered a careful balance between nature and technology, between coincidence and inevitably. The moment that Halo emerges in the air the transience of life and eternal nature of the sun superimpose briefly.





Building or project owner : Somerset House

Architecture : Kimchi and Chips

Project artist/ concept/ design/ planning : Kimchi and Chips

Structural engineering : Studio Sungshin, Hurst Peirce + Malcolm LLP

Kinetic engineering : Kimchi and Chips, Studio Sungshin

Display content/ visuals/ showreel : Kimchi and Chips

Light hardware (LED hardware) : Dynamixel

Lighting control software : Rulr

Project co-ordination : Kimchi and Chips

Interaction design/ programming : Kimchi and Chips

Project sponsor/ support : Arts Council Korea, Arts Council England, Gwangju Design Biennale, Somerset House Trust, Korean Culture Center UK


Facade type and geometry (structure) : Heliostat array drawing lines of sunlight into an atomised mist of water

Kind of light creation : Sunlight

Resolution and transmitting behaviour : 99 beams of sunlight

Pixel distance : 500mm pitch between heliostats

Urban situation : Public courtyard in London city centre

Participatory architecture & urban interaction


Kimchi and Chips