Light Harvest

Hi-tec Kozo paper, video projection


Grunwald Gallery of Art, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 2016 ​


Inspired by the beautiful images found in the electron density maps visualizing protein structures, and influenced by D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s work on form-finding, Light Harvest transfers the folding structure of a protein (or a group of proteins) called Light-Harvesting Complex into a larger installation. The Light-Harvesting Complex is the solar sail of the photosynthesis components in plants and some micro-organisms that uses bundled sunlight and together with water to create sugar and oxygen, thus providing the basis for life on this planet. This protein, resulting from billions of years of evolution, is mother nature’s marvelous engine. Light Harvest explores the folding structure of Light Harvesting Complex in the realm of materials, construction, form-finding and form-making by using paper folding, particularly “Nojima” origami pattern, and video projection technology.  It not only catches viewers’ eyes with the stunningly beautiful folding structure of the protein, but also provokes us to think deeper about the next-generational renewable biological energy system.  Could we, as human beings, reengineer this complex biological structure into a new type of solar cell? Could the power of molecular biology be harnessed to address the ultimate energy and carbon dioxide problem that humankind must solve?


Scientist: Susanne Ressl

Technology Consultant: Kyle Overton

Fabricatior: Steve Dixon


For more information related to this installation, visit

© 2019 by Jiangmei Wu. All rights reserved