Transparent vases create an optical illusion of colors that expand into nothing

It’s probably too easy to take vases for granted as they are designed to hold the flowers that are meant to draw your attention. Of course, the right combination of a beautiful floral arrangement and an equally eye-catching vase can have a stronger impact than just one or the other. And when it comes to being eye-catching, there’s probably nothing quite like an invisible vase, or at least one that seems to disappear and reappear out of nowhere. Thanks to the seemingly magical play of colours, materials and shapes, this collection of vases takes center stage, tricking your brain into believing that parts of their shape have expanded to the point of disappearing entirely.

Designer: Bo Zhang

Pliable materials tend to get thinner the more you stretch them, as you can easily see with rubber, clay, or dough. As these stretched sections thin out, they also tend to fade, provided they are of distinct color to begin with. In the real world, these stretched objects will eventually break, but fantasy might have us believe that these parts can instead become invisible and disappear.

This is exactly the kind of fantasy illusion that the Stretch Color vase collection creates in our minds. The mysterious forms of these crystalline vases are meant to reflect their designer’s “obsession with the color of the reconstruction room”, and their illusion operates on several levels beyond their act of disappearance. Depending on the viewing angle, the vase can sometimes look like a 2D surface art painting or sometimes like a 3D sculptural work of art. It’s almost as if the vases were designed to confuse the mind with both their beauty and their conflicting visual cues.

The vases come in three shapes, two of which appear to bend and stretch near the center but are full color at either end. Perhaps the most visually confusing member of the trio is the vase, whose shape ends where its color fades, enhancing the illusion of expanding to the point where it becomes nothing. In a way, the vases are also evidence of sophisticated manufacturing processes, considering that they also defy conventional shapes and color patterns.

Of course, with vases like this one, it’s almost a shame to fill them with flowers that draw attention away from their intriguing shapes. They enforce a sense of minimalism by letting you select simpler flowers and arrangements that really show off the beauty of the vase, not to mention keeping you wondering how the flowers or parts of the vase make it, despite the missing pieces to stay afloat.

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