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Instagram-friendly ‘Balloon Art Blow Out’ coming to Gallery Nucleus

Children play in a balloon pit designed by artist Addi Komekh. Komekh's exhibit "Balloon Art Blow Out" is showing at Gallery Nucleus from Jan. 11 to Jan. 15. Photo courtesy of Ben Zhu.


Alhambra , CA United States

After almost 25 years of bringing exhibits that blur the boundaries between fine art and popular entertainment, Gallery Nucleus owner Ben Zhu attended an exhibit that further expanded his definition of art.

It was a balloon art installation put on by Addi Somekh. “It was a face that looked down on the entire gallery, and you could walk around inside it,” Zhu said, adding that he was impressed by how colorful and participatory it was.

“Hearing about the [Museum of Ice Cream] and places like Meow Wolf, interactive experiences that people can pay an admission for, I thought that’s what this could be,” he said.

So Zhu and Somekh are collaborating on a “Balloon Art Blow Out” that will start with an opening reception on Friday, Jan. 11 from 12 to 8 p.m. The exhibit will culminate on Tuesday, Jan. 15 with a balloon popping party and with Somekh playing a bass guitar balloon that sounds — wait for it — like a bass guitar.

Zhu is particularly excited for the balloon popping party, remembering the one he attended where attendees took skewers and after counting down, popped thousands of balloons at the same time. “It sounded like fireworks,” he said. “I want to make it feel like a ritual to ring in the new year.”

The exhibit itself will feature a giant Transformer, a balloon pit with giant balloons and an installation inspired by the movie “Up,” a bunch of colorful balloons fastened to a piece of string that people can take pictures with.

“Most people don’t spend more than two seconds looking at a piece of artwork, but when they’re able to interact with it, it’s a different thing,” Zhu said. It’s an exhibit that he hopes Gallery Nucleus can feature regularly.

“If it does well, we can bring it back every year,” he said.

Buy tickets for Gallery Nucleus’ Balloon Art Blow Out here.

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