interactive installation for World Expo


Bright colours and abstract patterns create a focal point in the open space outside the main expo pavilion as viewers interact with an installation of a giant clam to reflect the theme of ocean life. Based on seasonal rhythms, undulating forms and images create a living being that continually grows and shifts.

Through a captivation with naturally occurring patterns, this work was created with the form and multicoloured motifs of a giant clam in mind. »pā’ua« is an art installation representative of the colourful and mesmerizing aspects of these fascinating creatures. The installation consists of a sculpture in the form of a large shell with an LED screen that fills the surface. Colourful patterns and motifs appear on the interactive display, simulating the evolutionary mechanism to produce patterns through a system of reaction-diffusion. This process, also known as a Turing Pattern, is responsible for creating the vibrant motifs of the giant clam itself, and is the basis of this project.

By examining the life, reproduction and rhythms of renewal of the giant clam, sufficient data was found to provide an array of constantly changing variables. Based on data from the moon, tide and seasonal cycles of the clams life span, a software was written using a combination of these variables to control the values of the algorithm generating the patterns. The properties of the varied input, and the direct interaction with the visitors themselves, allowed the visuals to shift without repetition over the course of the exhibition period. These transformations drive the visual appearance of the piece to portray facets of natural beings under the theme of ‘the living ocean and coast’.

»pā’ua« was an interactive artwork commissioned as part of the World Expo in Korea. It has since been exhibited at Vivid Sydney, a festival of light, Music and Ideas in Sydney Australia.


Commissioned by: kimgottlieb
Concept & Design: onformative & kimgottlieb
Production: Baruch Gottlieb
Creative Direction: Cedric Kiefer
Code: Marc Tiedemann


  • Vivid Sydney, Festival of Light, Music & Ideas, Sydney 2013
  • World Expo, Yeosu, South Korea 2012