As soon as we learn how the planet moves around the sun it is easy to take for granted the once-startling sight of the sun disappearing into the horizon each night. We forget what a great mystery this is for the child, who can’t help but assume the sun has sunk into the sea.
Asaad Badawi’s Chasing The Sun (2022) gives form to the child’s rationale behind this planetary motion. Using brightly colored fiberglass shapes – a blue ombré dome for the earth and an illuminated yellow sphere for the sun – the sculpture creates a static simulation of the sun’s journey, juxtaposing its “apparent” and “real” locations.
Visitors approach the sculpture to look through an orange aperture on one side. As they get closer and are able to gaze through the opening, a mirror inside will reflect the yellow sphere, seemingly showing the sun deep inside.
This unexpected sight of the sun where we know it shouldn’t be is a sensory experience that challenges the certainties of adulthood, instead triggering childhood memories and bringing them to the fore, beliefs in which we have since discarded.