On 7 May, during my usual lunch time update on Twitter and Facebook, I saw Kevin Spacey‘s tweet on a new installation at Waterloo tunnel. He gave the link to the website where we can get the tickets and also hint on which page to click on. After 10 mins of figuring it out, I managed to get 8 tickets to the newest and most talked about installation in town. For free!!
Tunnel 228, An Underground Installation, is held underneath the derelict railway tunnels of Waterloo station. The idea came to Kevin Spacey when he discovered the tunnels while visiting Banksy’s graffiti show in the Leake Street Tunnel. As the art director of Old Vic and with conjunction with Young Vic, he invited Punchdrunk to create the installation. This was inspired by Ftitz Lang’s 1927 sci-fi film Metropolis. As in the movie, visitors will be divided into the planners and the thinkers who live above ground and the underclass who live in the vaults, labouring to sustain their lives for betters.
The installation displayed works by 20 artists and visitors have to walk around the tunnel in semi darkness. Besides art paintings and display, there’s also live performances by actors.
So I went with 3 other colleagues on Wed after work. The entrance to the tunnel was not difficult to find. As we enter the caverns, we were given face masks and we were told to put them on at all time and must not talk loudly.
The whole experience is quite scary cos we have to walk in almost total darkness and there’s a layer of fog. There’s no direction on where to go, so we just have to wonder around and discover the arts as we see it. The ‘supervisor’ of the installation are dressed in all black outfit with a black balaclava. At every corner it feels as if someone is going to jump out and scare us.
Some highlights of the installation include:
- A metal box with 2 peep holes. Looking in from the bottom, u see a couple submerged in water and the girl kissing the guy (supposedly giving him air). From the top u see the girl swimming up from the water and breathing in more air before submerging again.
- A performance by 2 guys where a guy is pulling a rope which assists the other guy walking on the wall vertically all the way up to the ceiling then he continues walking upside down until he reaches a pot of roses and picked something from it and walked back. (The pot is stuck to the ceiling upside down)
- A big bowl of water with artificial swirl and lights beaming on it creating a cool light effect.
- A garden full of trees and moths made by paper.
- Small coffin with young chicks trying to get out of it.
Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures. But I managed to get permission from JG to post his pictures here for you to see what I saw and experienced. You can find his pictures on Flickr too. (Thanks again!).
Title: Boss Face
This is the wall one of the performer walked up. See the pot of flowers in the middle of the ceiling? There’s were he would pick up something while hanging upside down.
Artist: Lighting & Kinglyface
Artist: Lighting & Kinglyface
Title: Metropoli Souls
Title: Heaven on Earth
Artist: Luke Montgomery
Title: Body of Work
Artist: Mark Jenkins
Title: Sinister figure
Exit into Leake Street tunnel. J, all the graffiti we saw previously is gone. There’s new ones painted over. When I get some time I will come back and take more pictures to show u.
We also got one free programme book describing the installation and the artist’s profile at the end.