Alexandre Dang Installation/Interview

Photograph of Alexandra Dang in New Building of John Jay College

John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York, NYC proudly presents Dancing Solar Flowers an exhibition of Alexandre Dang’s ongoing environmental installation as part of John Jay’s 50th Anniversary celebration.

Dang’s scientific educational background informs his Dancing Flowers that are light driven installations raising awareness about sustainable ecological developments. These kinetic paper flowers use solar energy as their power to move, and as they appear applied to the glass facing the Jay Walk, they not only echo the natural backdrop outside thus bringing the outdoor environment indoors, but they also bring joy to everyone viewing them.

Dang’s environmental commitment is evident in his pedagogical aspects of his art that embraces educating young people about eco-friendly solar sources, renewable energy, and solar electrification. The latter are especially important to underdeveloped countries in great need of renewable sources of eco-friendly energy. As Dang posits in his mission statement, this is especially important in order to support solar electrification of schools in these developing countries.

The exhibit will be on display through November 2014.


Q: When did you start your artistic work? What were your sources of inspiration?

A.D.: I started my artistic work in 2004. I am influenced by the achievements of artists like Alexander Calder with his mobiles and stabiles and Jean Tinguely with his machines.

Q: Can you describe your artistic creation?

A.D.: I realize works incorporating solar energy as an energy source to an able these works to move: this is “solar kinetic art”. I create especially in situ installations with Dancing Solar Flowers.

Q: Why have you chosen flowers in your creations?

A.D.: Flowers embody by essence the beauty of nature. In my work, I have tried to give them a playful, a poetic and a funny dimension… by giving them a movement of dance thanks to solar energy. The Dancing Solar Flowers often trigger surprise, wonder, questioning… and thus lead to thinking of themes linked with the art work.

Q: What kind of message would you like to share with the public?

A.D.: Beyond their aesthetic dimension, my work also invite the public to a questioning about the use of energy today and about the energy perspectives. My work reflect the unstable nature of a world in turmoil, in reflection, in transformation… including on the energy topic. Energy is an issue that represents a major challenge for the future of humanity.

Q: What is the purpose of your commitment?

A.D.: The energy received by the sun on earth represents 10,000 times the energy of humanity, yet still 1.7 billion people have no access to electricity. Hence, it is clear that actions are needed: that’s why I’m committed to realize, on this topic, a work of art that combines scientific approach, environmental concern and humanist dimension.

In particular, I support Solar Solidarity International (a Non Profit International Association) with the copyrights on my work: this association raises awareness about solar energy and contributes financially to the solar electrification of projects in developing countries (schools, hospitals …). In addition, I organize regularly workshops to raise awareness on sustainable energy through artistic creation.

I also make presentations at conferences to discuss topics related to solar art, sustainable development, renewable energy… .

Last question …

Q: Has solar energy a real future in our society?

A.D.: The outlook for 2100 predicts that solar energy produced in a renewable way will represent 70% of the energy production worldwide. The Dancing Solar Flowers shown today around the world enable spreading art and also symbolize the wide use of solar energy in the future.