Light in nature is used to communicate, attract and detract attention.
"The Presence of Things as They Are" & "Messages in Light" are two video works in a series titled Invisible Worlds. Khoo produced incessant film footage during a residency at a marine biology lab in San Diego, USA experimenting on the natural phenomena of light-emitting organisms called bioluminescent algae (marine plankton).
They grow to almost 1mm in size. Once stimulated, they emit light which lasts for only a tenth of a second. Khoo transmutes these silent biological pulses into an eruption and confluence of fluid lightscapes.
"The Presence of Things As They Are" documents the organisms being stimulated by sound. The reverberations from a singing bowl produce a differentiated pattern of pulsation taking the form of a circular formation like the instrument itself. "Messages in Light" was produced only using water flow.
Other stimulants used include air pressure and other audio; musical as well as other types of sound. The artist has translated their light intensities into sound (the result being not dissimilar to R2-D2 from the movie StarWars).
Khoo hopes to raise awareness on how humans, as a species, relate and communicate with the natural world: there is energy, vibration, and song in everything, one just has to find them, even on a microscopic level. Historically, studies on ocean bioluminiscence stem from U.S. Navy & Soviet interest. Recent research is focusing on studies of the mechanics behind jet propulsion.
Khoo will unveil an immersive installation commissioned by Birch Aquarium, San Diego on 7 April. It comprises a projection of a video works within an 8-feet Infinity Cube structure.
Residency awarded via MEAD Fellowship (UAL London) & in collaboration with Latz Laboratory, Scripps Institute of Oceanography (San Diego, USA).