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The Hive

Posted by Wei Lin on 25 Oct 2016

The Universal Exhibition EXPO is an opportunity for the World to come together to showcase each nation’s innovations, culture and creativity through unique Pavilions.

Being a cultural hub, EXPO attracts the general public from of all races and backgrounds, thus presenting an optimum chance to open up discussions about critical subjects. EXPO Milan 2015 was focused on the global issue of food supply and planet health.

The Hive was UK artist Wolfgang Buttress's response to the theme of the exhibition, inspired by the role of honeybees in the global ecosystem. 

The Hive in Milan EXPO 2015
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Visitors were drawn into the Pavillion by its intricate aluminium structure, LED lights and calming beehive sounds. Once inside, one's senses were immersed by the harmonious play of light and sounds. This was a fascinating in the fact that they were controlled by real beehive activity. 

This enriching experience encourged the visitors to seek out the "bee experts" on site, which subsequently led to a guided visit through a small exhibiton just below the Pavilion. It was a creative way to get people interested in the subject. 

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At the end of the EXPO, The Hive was relocated to Kew Gardens where it takes a new form. Kew's wildflower meadow is designed to encourge feeding bees in blooming season. Honeybees will greet the visitors as they walk up through the pavilion. 

I have visited the Pavilion in both locations. In Milan, I visited it during the nighttime and at the Kew Gardens during the daytime. It is astonishing how the time of the day influences the experiences you have in The Hive.

In the darkness, it enabled me to experience a sensory-enriching atmosphere of oscillating light and sound. Whilst during the day, my eyes were in sharp focus and I came to fully appreciate the complex structural side of the Pavilion.

Given the opportunity, visitors should aim to experience The Hive both during daylight and night. The pavilion will be in the Kew Gardens until November 2017.

The Hive - Kew Gardens 
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