Random International, Rain Room, 2012. Courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation.
Random International’s immersive Rain Room (2012) has traveled across the world, going on view in cities including Los Angeles, Shanghai, New York, and London. Now, the artwork has opened at its first permanent home: the Sharjah Art Foundation in the United Arab Emirates. Rain Room uses 1,200 litres of self-cleaning, recycled water to create a room with continuous rainfall. The artwork’s magic is that when a visitor walks through the space, motion sensors are triggered and rainfall is paused wherever the visitor goes, protecting them from the downpour.
“Over the years we have exhibited a number of large-scale immersive installations,” said the foundation’s director Hoor Al Qasimi in a statement. “But this is the first of a series of projects that are planned as permanent works in locations across the Emirate.” Having the artwork exist in Sharjah indefinitely is a “humbling thought,” added Hannes Koch and Florian Ortkrass, the founders of Random International. The large-scale installation opened April 29th.