“Qwalala”, a river of colorful glass
The Pomo are a native American people in Northern California; in their language, “Qwalala” means “place from where water descends”: a word they use for a river that snakes around sixty-four kilometers in their territory, before flowing into the Pacific Ocean.
But for American artist Pae White, “Qwalala” also means glass, colors, transparency, technology, craftsmanship, engineering, architecture and sculpture. That’s because “Qwalala” is the name he gave to a magnificent installation he created, which has “flowed” for 75 meters since last May, imitating the sinuous river, in the space in front of “Stanze del Vetro”, on the Island of San Giorgio, Venice.
The site-specific work is a curvy wall, almost 2.5 meters tall, made of thousands of colorful and transparent glass ingots, made by hand in various factories in Veneto and placed according to an artistic pattern generated via custom software.
Let’s sit down on the riverbank and watch the colors flow.