Lips symbolise desire, lust and sensuality. And that’s because we use them to make contact with others, by expressing our emotions and wishes or even literally with a kiss.

Your lips are even more sensitive than your fingertips and contain as many as 10,000 nerve endings, that, when stimulated (by a kiss, for example) send signals to your brain. Although UxU Studio’s large red lips don’t contain that many lights, with around 1,500 lights the artists still give you an idea of the amount of information they can pass on. 

But lips also symbolise our oldest and most important form of communication, spoken word. We translate our thoughts into words, which in turn form the basis for all our more ‘classic’ written and printed texts as well as newer forms of communication such as vlogs, podcasts or audiobooks. 

The artists, designers and architects of UxU Studio almost always use light in their designs. They often bring a playful element to their installations, which can also be seen in Desire if you look closely. From the side, the image of the lips disappears, and you see a heartbeat instead – our hearts beat faster with strong desires. But giving in to your desires can be dangerous: the red lights, much like a traffic light or a red card on a football field, are also a warning.

About the artist

UxU Studio, founded in 2011 by Kuan-Hung Chen and Ying-Chu Chen, is a Taiwanese collective of architects, designers, and artists. Their experimental, multidisciplinary approach leads to surprising (light)objects, which are often made of simple and ordinary materials. Sometimes, this results in big installations to wander in or just to quietly sit in. Other times, they enlarge or reduce a recognizable thing or image to a surrealistic size.

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© Bart Heemskerk