Made of 1,216 bronze droplets, the two Kinetic Rain sculptures in Terminal 1 are the latest addition to Changi Airport’s collection of art installations and displays. Measuring 9.8 metres by 4 metres, each sculpture can form 16 different shapes ranging from abstract art forms to recognisable patterns including an aeroplane, a hot air balloon, a kite and even a dragon. The design element in each shape shows the movement of flight through slow, fluid movements.
Each droplet weighs 180 grams and is made of lightweight aluminium with a hollow centre. The droplets are specially coated with polished copper to prevent the surface from oxidisation or rust. Depending on the shape of the art form, the droplets travel a maximum distance of 7.3 metres from the ceiling to the lowest point of the pattern.
Designers of the Kinetic Rain created 3-dimensional models and animated them by hand. After the suite of patterns are formalised, they are fed into a computer programme which controls the motors manoeuvring the droplets. Each droplet is connected to a motor which is housed in the ceiling of the Departure Hall. The motors contain a high precision rotary encoder which keeps track of the exact position of the droplet.
The Kinetic Rain sculpture was created over a span of 20 months. From the onset of the project, artists, programmers and technologists came together to analyse the space available and came out with a solution to develop an artwork that enhances the identity of Changi’s new Terminal 1.
Aptly themed ‘Tropical City’, Changi’s new Terminal 1 is synonymous with Singapore’s garden city reputation where rain is a common feature in the tropical climate. With more than a thousand raindrops working together in harmony, the Kinetic Rain sculpture also symbolises the coming together of the thousands in the airport community to provide a positively surprising Changi Experience for passengers and visitors. Kinetic Rain is the biggest and most complex kinetic sculpture of its kind in the world, located for the first time ever at Changi Airport.