© 2019 Choi+Shine Architects

The Feather

Invited Entry for BRIGHT Brussels 2020

René Magritte’s Souvenir de Voyage

The lace feather in an unusual scale is standing against Palais de Justice in an attempt to support a structure in need of repair. Mysteriously glowing, intricate, feminine and seemingly weightless feather visually contrast the majestic masonry monument wrapped in dark scaffolding.

In reference to Ren Magritte’s iconic ‘Souvenir de Voyage’ or ‘La Nuit de Pise’, the project adds a feather as a physical and symbolic support for one of the most important monuments in Brussels which has been famously unstable for decades. With the feather, it seeks to subvert the laws of physics, evades logic and politics, and questions the viewer’s perception of cultural heritage.

Belgium invented lace. The Feather in hand made lace celebrates Belgium’s cultural heritage, while symbolically weaving different people and cultures in Belgium, and the past with the future of Brussels. Genearlly, lace is used as an embellishment, a special celebration and a little bit of luxury. The Feather is delicate, and inherently soft and feminine, creating visual poetry while celebrating the light festival and the cultural richness of Brussels.

The Feathers interact with natural light during the day, and glow when illuminated at night. At night, the mysteriously glowing large Feather in ethereal levitation create a sense of magic as if time has stopped. When viewers approach the glowing, lacy surface, they can enjoy the detail and texture of the lace work and see the city and the sky through this visual filter. During the day, the lace surface of the Feather reflects, absorb and retransmit sunlight. In the morning or at dusk, the Feather appears as glowing, translucent object whereas in the full day sun, the lightweight and yet huge lace Feathers cast intricate, patterned shadows creating a pleasant visual experience.

The project reminds us of the impermanence of iconic monuments from the generations before and of our contribution for the generations to follow. The effort to support this magnificent monument that is suffering from decay with a feather should be a reminder for us to overcome the political difficulties and differences among us and move forward: float and fly like the Feather.

The juxtaposition of the softly glowing diaphanous Feathers against masculine urban space interrupts our mundane and coherent everyday, creating a sense of surprise that ignites imagination. The project aspires to evoke a sense of wonder though this unexpected encounter, which forms a lasting visual poetry as a prelude to the restored Palais de Justice due to arrive in the near future.

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in our future crochet projects,

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 skim [at] choishine.com

The design and images of The Feather are copyright 2019, Choi+Shine Architects and may not be used without written permission.

The images and design  copyright 2019-2023  Choi+Shine Architects, LLC.  All rights reserved. 

Contact:  Choi+Shine Architects for written permission for image use.