Australian artists Ken and Julia Yonetani have created new radioactive uranium glass sculptural works for the exhibition 'What the Birds Knew' at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in Sydney. Featuring a vintage chandelier and a 6-meter long giant ant, the use of UV lights makes the uranium glow an ominous green. In commemorate of the recent nuclear tragedy in Fukushima, the artists use uranium glass as a means of exploring the fear of radiation that Japan has been living with daily.
In late 19th and early 20th centuries, people used to make drinking glasses and other decorative objects out of uranium glass. The artists’ reference this decadent history by sourcing vintage chandeliers, and replacing the traditional crystals with thousands of uranium glass beads. The giant green ant, on the other hand, traces the relationship between recent nuclear events in Japan to uranium mining in Australia.
all images © Ken + Julia Yonetani