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Designers transform humble light into glittering masterpiece for Hong Kong's Expo Pavilion (with photos)

Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) students and teachers have transformed a humble plastic light into a glittering masterpiece that will be on display in a prime location at World Expo 2010 Shanghai China (Shanghai Expo).

The "Infinite Constellation" has been installed in the Atrium Space of the Hong Kong Pavilion, which overlooks the main concourse of the China Pavilion zone.

The tens of thousands of people walking past the Hong Kong Pavilion each day during Shanghai Expo will have a clear view of this lighting art piece.

It is particularly impressive at night, when the mirrored walls of the Atrium Space create multiple reflections of the lights that give it an "infinite dimension".

"We wanted to create an art piece that would be visible and meaningful," said Mr Leslie Lu, Head of the Hong Kong Design Institute's Product and Interior Design Department.

"With a bit of creative thinking we were able to take an everyday product and turn it into a work of art."

The red light-shades are common at wet markets across Hong Kong where they have become a shining beacon for people out shopping for the evening meal.

They are particularly synonymous with stalls selling pork or eggs and are sometimes referred to as "egg lights" or "gai daan dang" in Cantonese.

The installation's creators used about 200 of these lights to create an eye-catching design that will give the Hong Kong Pavilion its own beacon to attract the interest of Expo visitors.

As well as providing a futuristic and inspirational display for the Pavilion, the lampshades have a deep-rooted connection to Hong Kong.

Exhibition design student Mr Ryan Chin said: "These lampshades represent the first generation of 'Made In Hong Kong' products.

"They were designed back in the 1960s and are still widely produced and used today.

"The 'Infinite Constellation' is a great way to show people that Hong Kong is a creative and modern city with a strong loyalty to its traditions."

The "Infinite Constellation" project is the brainchild of the HKDI, which was established by the Vocational Training Council in 2007 to provide lifelong learning in design.

"It is Vocational Training Council's pride and joy to see this installation lighting up the Hong Kong Pavilion," said Mrs Lo Lee Oi-lin, the Vocational Training Council Deputy Director (Projects).

"It is especially gratifying to see this level of creativity from our staff and students using an ordinary object from our local culture - a red light-shade - and transform it into a unique light sculpture.

"We sincerely thank the HKSAR Government for this valuable opportunity."

The Hong Kong Pavilion has a prominent location near the China Pavilion at Shanghai Expo, which opens on May 1.