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Ma Yansong turns an abandoned market into an ephemeral lighthouse

Swathes of colourful fishing nets have been draped around a once-busy market building in China’s Guangdong province as part of a new installation by architect Ma Yansong.

The rainbow-coloured nets create a striking, colour-filter effect around the vacant Nanhai building, arranged in stripes reminiscent of a circus big top. In contrast, the base of the disused market is wrapped in huge strips of reflective tape, creating an incongruous presence in the building’s historic, waterside setting.

Ma, who is the founder and principal of MAD Architects,  designed the artwork as part of the Guangdong Nanhai Art Field festival, which invites worldwide artists and designers to contribute pieces. The first iteration of Timeless Beacon had used film all over; however, a storm meant it had to be replaced with a more durable net.

The second part of the installation becomes apparent at night when the piece lights up, transforming it into a glowing lighthouse.

Timeless Beacon will remain in place until the middle of 2024.

Photography: Tian Fangfang
Photography: Lu Yu

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