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How can art inspire ground-breaking thinking about how we use energy under a changing climate? By combining science and art, French artist Alexandre Dang addresses the question as his work seamlessly embodies the beauty of nature and the vast potential of technology.

Inspired by artists who produced kinetic sculptures, or works which are set in motion by a source of energy, Dang created "Dancing Solar Flowers" and "Solar Paintings and Drawings".

Each of his dancing flowers contains a motor powered by a photovoltaic cell which enables them to move constantly. The speed of their movement depends on the surrounding brightness - the more intense the light is, the fastest the flowers move, each of them following their own rhythm.

Field of Dancing Solar Flowers at the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken, in Brussels

The flowers’ poetic and playful dimensions often spark wonder and curiosity in the public, inviting the audience to reflect upon the prospects that clean energy can offer.

His solar paintings and drawings have a similar approach: solar machines draw different shapes, powered by the surrounding light, symbolizing the spreading use of renewable energy.

“The autonomy that green energy brings to art gives new perspectives of creation and new ground for thinking to the contemporary art”, Dang said.

His creation aims to contribute to sustainable development and to the education of the general public, especially young people, about the potential of eco-friendly technologies.

To support solar electrification of schools in developing countries, he has also co-founded the non-profit association Solar Solidarity International. Dang often highlights that, although the sun provides 10,000 times more energy to the earth than humans need, more than 1.3 billion people still do not have access to electricity.

With a scientific background as an engineer at the École Polytechnique (Paris) and of the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, Dang combines a scientific approach to environmental concerns and humanism.

Field of Dancing Solar Flowers at the Royal Palace of Brussels

“I'm often asked about the difference between art and science. For me, there is more a complementarity. In fact, art and sciences are like a pair of eyes that enable to see in 3D!”, he said in an interview.

The dancing flowers have toured around the world, from the United States to Spain and China, and have been featured in sites including the Belgian and European Pavilion at the World Expo Shanghai 2010, the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels and the Singapore Art Museum, among others.

Until April 13, Dang will be among the artists featured in the exhibition "Earth, Fire, Water, Air: The Elements of Climate Change" at the Maloney Hall Art Gallery in Central Connecticut State University, United States.

#Art4Climate is a joint initiative by the UNFCCC and Julie’s Bicycle to spot and propose super recent and new works in this broad field, but we also want to hear from you! Please send any proposals for showcasing to newsroom@unfccc.int or Chiara@juliesbicycle.com.
Please amplify our web posts with Twitter hashtag #Art4Climate and #COP23!

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