When Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa's exuberant, breathing Flower Chandelier, which graced the atrium of the refurbished Auckland Art Gallery when it reopened in 2011, disappeared last year for repair, its legions of fans wondered how it could ever be replaced. That question has been emphatically answered by Sydney artist Jonathan Jones (of the Wiradjuri-Kamilaroi tribes) with an "upscaled" version of the untitled (sum of the parts) fluorescent work acquired by the Chartwell Collection of contemporary art in 2010.
Using more than 80 fluorescent battens, the work, on level one of the gallery, bounces reflections on to other floors and walls, and manipulates shadow as the sun moves around the building and fades into night. It is particularly dramatic at night, where it glows until midnight and reactivates early each morning.
The work's cross-hatching designs are based upon the carved patterning of Koori (south-eastern Australian shields), and the markings on the possum fur cloaks which evoke the traditions of Jones' ancestors.
Archimedia and Holmes Consulting Group, the New Zealand architects and engineers who worked on the gallery restoration, created the design and installation of a cantilevered wall to support the lights.
Untitled (sum of the parts), an adjunct to the My Country: Contemporary Art From Black Australia exhibition in the gallery, will remain in the atrium until the end of January.