by Inigo del Castillo in New Design on Saturday 10 May 2014

You heard it right. Dandelions that glow from within. They’re called ‘OLED TAMPOPO’ and they’re a product of cinematographer Takao Inoue’s wild imagination. In this interview, we ask him about the inspiration for the whimsical lamps and how he makes them. [Read more about the Dandelion Lamp here.]

How did you come up with the idea of turning a dandelion into a lamp?
I had been creating photographic works to the theme of ‘to release’. One of the most important motifs was the dandelion and I was thinking about them for quite some time. And then, one day an image that a lot of shining, wavering dandelions came to me, it might have been in a dream.

Was it hard installing an OLED light into something as fragile as a dandelion? How long does it usually take to finish one lamp?
Yes, it was. Production testing could only be done during a small time in the spring of the year. Dandelions need a very long time to be encapsulated. Plus, it took a few years until I reached the quality that I liked.

To make one lamp takes about two weeks.

The lamps were on display at the Milano Salone 2014. How impressed were the people there when they saw your work?
Both young and old, I saw a lot of impressed people, really. I received plenty of praises, like ‘Congratulations’, ‘It’s very poetic’, ‘great job’, ‘incredible’, and so on. The exhibition was very satisfactory.

It was not uncommon for people to be fascinated by the artwork for some time. I realized that was able to bring joy to the people who had seen the work in practice.

Do you have any plans of making these lamps available outside of Japan?
Although there is no specific plan, in the future, I want to create outside of Japan, too.