Every 18 months, the Moon glides between the Sun and the Earth, masking the Sun’s light and casting a shadow on our planet. Known as a solar eclipse, the phenomenon is too dangerous to look at directly and can only be observed through special glasses (unless it’s 2017 and your name is Donald Trump.)
Thankfully, one Japanese designer has the rest of us covered with a poetic interpretation of a solar eclipse. Yuichiro Morimoto has designed a decorative lamp that is powered by light and therefore glows without the need for electricity. Titled Nisshoku (Japanese for “eclipse”), the lamp consists of a translucent orange acrylic lens sandwiched between two milky white acrylic sheets. When sun rays hit the acrylic surface, they are refracted and dispersed toward the edges, creating a ring of light that persists even after the light in the middle has faded—much like an eclipse.
Morimoto designed the lamp right after graduating from art college in 2018, but he only started selling it on his own site this year. (It could be yours for 32,000 Japanese Yen, or about $250.)
The fact that the lamp mimics the solar eclipse wasn’t the intention. The premise, Morimoto explains over email, was to build a light that can function without electricity: “It turned out to resemble a solar eclipse, so I named it Nisshoku.”
The lamp weighs less than a pound and is only half an inch thick, so it would best hang on a wall, or better yet, in front of a window. In the end, it’s a simple but smartly designed object that is made even more attractive by the strong narrative that underpins it. “I believe that light is a motif that people of all cultures and languages can feel and understand,” says the designer. “Currently, I am writing this using a translation software, but the beauty of light transcends language barriers, which I feel grateful for.”
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