The Nine Floating Fountains of Japan

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A Magical Display of Art That You Have to See to Believe.

As far as fountains go, the requirements are fairly basic; a flowing or recycling water source and a basin in which to collect it in. But Japanese designer Isamu Noguchi has proven, yet again, that anyone can take a simple object and turn it into a work out art. All you need is a bit of creativity and an eye for design. The Nine Floating Fountains is an art display located in Osaka Japan and was originally built for the World Expo. Now it has become a world famous fountain, attracting tourists of every kind from all over the world.
The fountain, or fountains, appear to be an major optical illusion at first glance. The two massive square boxes float in the air as a continuous flow of water pours from their bottoms. The water collects in the large square basin below but where does it go from there? How does the water come from the floating cubes to begin with? Well, Isamu cleverly constructed the fountain display with a well hidden pipe that feeds up into each box and is rendered virtually invisible once the water begins to flow, creating the optical illusion that the squares are floating in the air and the water appears out of nowhere.
There are two other natural factors that Isamu Noguchi took into consideration when designing the fountain and that was light and air. By installing the cubes anywhere from 10ft-60ft in the air, it left the flowing water open to the elements of wind and air. On those bountiful windy days in Osaka, the strong breeze pushes the water and creates more optical illusions, as if the cubes could be flying, and the cloudy mist that forms from the disruption adds to the otherworldly look that the fountain was meant to achieve.
Utilizing the contrast of night and day, the cubes take on two completely different looks. By day, they appear like objects torn right from a science fiction movie with their modern lines and odd textures. But by night, the lights installed underneath each cube turn on and illuminate the water flowing from them. This image can be seen from miles away and is surely a sight that you have to see to believe.
You may not be able to install 50ft high floating fountains in your back yard, but you can surely get creative with some great outdoor water fountains available online. Check out this amazing selection for your next outdoor fountain inspiration.

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  • Candace Osmond