Nendo Rained Flowers within Le Bon Marché store
Local Parisians look forward to the annual “white exhibition” created by a guest artist, spread across Le Bon Marche Store. White merchandise such as linens, towels and dishes are specially displayed and sold to allow for a fresh and festive start for the year. This year the Japanese design firm Nendo developed the theme of “droplets and flowers”, representing the spirit of “a fresh new start”.
The 500 sqm atrium that is well known for its iconic escalators located in its center becomes the stage for this eye-dropping experiential installation designed by Nendo. Suspended from the 15-meter high ceiling of the atrium, 120 droplet-shaped objects gently descend like falling rain. And somewhere midway of their passage they change shape to form flowers that seem to gently sway to the music.
Each flower ascended into the sky as if carried by wind, is transformed back into a droplet that will fall back down again.
The dynamic movement of the installation changes the appearance of the atrium from everywhere and at different times of the day.
“Droplets might be perceived as negative, when thinking of heavy rain-drops or tears of sadness.Flowers, however, usually represent positive notions such as vitality and happiness.
Although they seem as two opposite ideas, one cannot exist without the other, like light and shadow. And so, when developing the design, the two elements were treated equally,” says Oki Sato, Founder and Designer of Nendo, talking of the theme of rain and flowers used here.
The team fell back on metaphors to address the element of a fresh new beginning using rain, an element that replenishes the earth, often described as the tears of angels. Using these varied connotations, Nendo created installations that touches on all these stories while creating a story of its own, a design narrative that mesmerized all its viewers.
“The desire was to express through four different installations that negative elements in our lives can be viewed as positive only by slightly changing our perspectives, hoping that the customers that visit Le Bon Marché will have an illuminating experience for a fresh new beginning,” he says.
At the Rue de Babylone Entrance, 20 rain bottle installations showcased twenty “bottled” types of rain.
“Although there are only a few ways to describe “rain” in English, in Japanese, there are dozens of words for “rain”, depending on the yearly season, the amount and size of rain drops. The installation shows that by focusing on subtle details and changes we can maximize our field of view,” explains the designer.