John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.
The immense, glowing artwork is meant to bring life to an industrial neighborhood.
If a shooting star were to fall to Earth and somehow become wedged in a building, it might look something like Jun Hao Ong’s transcendental installation in Butterworth, Malaysia.
Made from taut cables and white LEDs, “The Star” improbably penetrates four floors of an unfinished, concrete structure. The artist built it for the Urban Xchange festival, a celebration of public art meant to inject pizzazz into less-than-beautiful neighborhoods. He explained to the Malay Mail Online:
For me, The Star is also a symbol. Could it be a new beginning for Butterworth so that Penang is not just a UNESCO world heritage place? It is more than that. And using light as a medium to showcase the industrial part of Penang. Penang produces components for LED strips and that is kind of the components that I’m using for The Star too. I wanted to think of a form that people can relate to, it’s abstract but not so abstract that people can’t identify with it.
At night, the immense sculpture shines in the fog like a ghostly beacon for lost sailors. Here are a few views; find more on the artist’s Instagram.