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January
Sculptures show forces that shape our solar system
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Eleven pieces of interactive kinetic sculpture will be on display at the Hong Kong Science Museum from today (January 2) to May 2 for visitors to explore the natural forces shaping our solar system.

Planetary Landscapes: Sculpting the Solar System Exhibition was created by American artist Ned Kahn and produced by the renowned Chabot Space and Science Centre in Oakland, California. The 11 interactive works and photographs on display invite visitors to explore nine natural phenomena - dunes, streams, volcanoes, dust devils, turbulence, clouds, lightning, faults and comets.

Born in 1960, Kahn studied botany and environmental science at the University of Chicago. From 1982 to 1996, he was Artist-in-Residence at San Francisco's Exploratorium. Among his best-known exhibits is "Tornado". This interactive exhibit uses a large mist generator, fans and a carefully shaped structure to produce an actual tornado.

Kahn is concerned that our contemporary culture is so obsessed with the Internet and computer gadgetry that people have fewer and fewer opportunities to observe things closely. With this in mind, he creates objects that encourage such contemplation.

The artist employs his scientific and technological skills to create sculptures that display the effects of natural phenomena in their constantly varying patterns. By touching and manipulating the exhibits, visitors can obtain an insight into the natural processes of other planetary bodies in our Solar System, as well as the interplay between chaos and order.

To coincide with the exhibition, a series of films provided by the National Geographic Channel will be screened at the Lecture Hall of the Science Museum until March, enabling the audience to understand the causes and consequences of natural phenomena. The programmes include "Cyclone", "Power of Water" and "Violent Volcano" which will be screened on January 28, February 18, and March 3 and 17 respectively from 3pm to 4pm. The films will be presented in English with Chinese subtitles. Admission is free and on a first-come, first-served basis.

Admission to the Planetary Landscapes: Sculpting the Solar System Exhibition is $10 with half-price concession for full-time students, people with disabilities and senior citizens aged 60 or above. There is no free admission on Wednesdays.

The Science Museum is located at 2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon. It is open from 1pm to 9pm from Monday to Friday, and from 10am to 9pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays) and the first two days of the Lunar New Year.

For details of the exhibition and related programmes, visit the Science Museum's website at http://hk.science.museum/. For enquiries, please call 2732 3232.

Ends/Friday, January 2, 2004
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