Jun Ong, a Malaysian artist, has used light to puncture a derelict warehouse in Kuala Lumpur. The site-specific sculpture, titled STAR/KL, consists of 111 LED beams that form a starburst and pierce the heart of the structure, outward past the chainlink fence, and into the vegetation. The lighting is set at various spots throughout the building to give the impression of a single massive explosion. They’re largely concentrated at the bursting point and taper away from the center—exactly how you’d expect the genuine thing to be.
Although this sculpture was placed in 2021, its origins date back to 2015. The initial version of the work, dubbed Star at the time, took place in the Malaysian industrial town of Butterworth. Before reappearing last year, that star “dissolved and vanished into hibernation.” In his artist statement, Ong says, “Its new host, known as the Air Building, is a mixture of raw concrete and shards of metal placed on the threshold between nature and city.” “Molded by time, materials, and energy, the new ‘Star’ takes on a starburst shape generated by the rapid fusing of diverse surrounding components. As a result, powerful light pathways emerge, stretching beyond the host and into the city’s complex, cultural tapestry.”
The concept of STAR / KL is to install metaphorical “stars” in various locations. “Each star is more than a beautiful item,” Ong explains to My Modern Met, “it’s an accelerator and incubator for partnerships, experiences, and dialogues.” I hope that people will view lighting, architecture, and settings in new ways, and that each of the 111 parts will have a humanized link.”
The exhibition STAR / KL will be on display until March 26, 2022. Its radiance, on the other hand, diminishes with each passing day until it is nothing more than a memory.
STAR / KL is a site-specific light work by Jun Ong that seems like a starburst has erupted in the center of an empty warehouse.