A vast post-industrial warehouse that has played host to sold-out gigs from Honey Dijon, The Martinez Brothers, and Skepta, was taken over in March by a jaw-dropping new art exhibition. Thin Air is the inaugural show at The Beams‘ cavernous Royal Docks space, showcasing work from seven global contemporary artists and collectives that smash up art and technology. But the final date of the exhibition is nearing, and Londoners have only a handful of days left to immerse themselves in the light and sound installations before it finishes on June 4.
The show makes use of light, atmospherics, sound, and experimental new media for an immersive, experiential show that drops guests directly into the artworks. The works surround and confront visitors, sometimes through high intensity, and at other times through deliberate quiet and stillness.
Of course, we couldn’t resist going along and having a look for ourselves. And we were very much in awe of the whole thing:
The pieces in the show directly respond to the vast scale of the space. Some are brand new for Thin Air, while others are site-specific adaptations of pre-existing pieces. But every single piece is monumental in both scope and effect. It is the most exciting new exhibition to hit London – Yayoi Kasuma’s Infinity Room might finally have some competition for the hottest art spectacle in town.
Just have a look at this incredible imagery
Now we could tell you even more about the exhibition. But how about we show you, instead?
Seoul-based duo Kimchi and Chips have developed a light and sound piece in collaboration with Dutch artist and researcher Rosa Menkman. A continuation of their “Light Barrier” series of works, a complex web of crossing beams of light and mirrors illuminate phantom objects in the light that float in the space.
Matthew Schreiber’s immersive work makes use of hundreds of volumetric lasers that probe their way through the space. The lasers interact with light, haze, and the viewers themselves as they move through the light sculpture. The whole thing responds and changes to the viewer’s body in the space.
Some works at the exhibition make use of an intense conjunction of music and lights, immersing guests in an approximation of the feeling of synaesthesia. Others comprise optical illusions or glitches, while others still use ethereal music played in waves at 110HZ as guests walk through a corridor of light to evoke “ancient trance states”.
Thin Air, The Beams, and the local community
The show isn’t simply a cash-grab visual spectacle, designed to entice Londoners for profit and nothing more. Thin Air has partnered with local schools, offering free tickets for students to experience the show. Broadwick Live is also offering free tickets to the local community.
Additionally, they’re supporting the community by raising money for local projects, local food banks, and other projects, as well as local employment. In 2022 Broadwick Live and The Beams raised £10,000 to support the area, and are committed to continuing the work through to 2023 and beyond.
When is Thin Air showing?
Thin Air is only on show for a few months, running from March 17 to June 4. That means there are only a few days left to catch it before it’s gone!
The immersive exhibition runs from Wednesday-Sunday, with various operating hours across those days. They also run late visitor hours at their Friday lates, and across Saturdays and bank holiday Sundays.
Tickets are available now, and can be purchased here!
Thin Air runs at The Beams, Factory Road, London E16 2HB until June 4.