Is metal always hard? Is concrete always still? Are all the materials what we believe them to be in our daily life? A novel exhibition about new materials is taking place in Shanghai since July 10, overturning visitors’ habitual understandings of these exhibits.
Seeing is not necessarily believing – that’s what visitors may feel at the exhibition “Matter 2.0 – 21st Century Emotional Material” at the Shanghai Natural History Museum, which presents over 100 rare material samples and 30 interactive installations. More than half of the rare materials on display are making their public debut in China.
Divided into five themed sections, the three-month-long exhibition is expected to help the public establish a connection between materials and sentiments, and inspire them to explore the possibilities of materials from multidimensional perspectives.
Click here to see the abnormal materials at the exhibition.
The exhibition encourages people to motivate their senses fully.
For example, a wall decorated by colorful stickers caught visitors’ eyes and noses. Through a gentle scratch, the micro-capsules embedded inside the stickers will break and release fragrant grease, providing unique smell to the material.
“It’s not just an exhibition about materials, it’s also an exhibition about us,” said Zhang Huihong, who is in charge of the exhibition.
“If we want to better understand our feelings towards something, we need to have a deeper understanding of the materials around us and feel the emotional aspects they bring us. Besides the scientific features, materials are also endowed with characters and emotions.”
“For example, bending-resistant rubber is just like a good-tempered and reliable friend. And eco-friendly materials made from food residues give people a sense of nature and health,” Zhang added.