Japanese cinematographer Takao Inoue has created a magical light that looks like a shining dandelion flower frozen in time. The graceful little lights are called OLED Tampopo – after the type of LED lights used to illuminate them (OLED – organic light-emitting diodes) and the Japanese word for “dandelion” (tampopo).
The production process for these curious and graceful lights seems fairly difficult. First, Inoue carefully harvests a springtime dandelion, careful not to disturb its feather-light seeds. Then, the flower is sealed in a block of acrylic plastic (and how he manages to do so without capturing air bubbles is beyond me). Lastly, the OLED light is embedded inside the plant’s stem, although we haven’t figured out exactly how he does this or how the light is powered.
“Production testing could only be done during a small time in the spring of the year. Dandelions need a very long time to be encapsulated. Plus, it took a few years until I reached the quality that I liked,” said Inoue in an interview with lostateminor, explaining some of the difficulties behind creating these curious lamps.
In any case, these curious and beautiful lights have made waves. He already sells dandelions suspended in acrylic at Somewhere Tokyo, and plans to start selling the light fixture variant some time soon.
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