Swiming Pool Art

Rik Andreae pointed me to Leandro Erlich’s “Swimming Pool” installation which can be found at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (in Kanazawa, Japan). I believe you remember previous Japanese girls with small heads illusion. Also we had a performer that done pretty similar installation. His name is Philippe Ramette. I think that the below photo is done with realistic statues instead performers, but am not sure. Anyone has more info?

75 Replies to “Swiming Pool Art”

  1. this was done by having an empty swimming pool, covering the pool with a layer of glass or plastic, pouring water over the glass and generating a current in that water. this is revealed by the break in the ladder; that’s where the glass or plastic layer is.

  2. Seems to be a pool covered by glass with water on top – 1 inch might be enough. you can see the ladder been divided in two parts (one part underneath the waterline – one over the waterline).

  3. Notice the reflection of the woman’s head on the pane of glass. Probably Potassium ionized for strength to allow it to be thin. A pane like that would cost a good $10K.

  4. Love this effect and don’t want to destroy the mystery behind this modern op-art. My guess is that as Photoshop has some realistic filters for creating watery ripples, I’m pretty sure the pool is empty. The pics aren’t a very high resolution so you can’t see the joins around the ladder.

    Also, the highlights on the close-up of the ladder are far too clear with no diffusion for it to be under water (I think).

    Not sure about the glass theory as it would cost a fortune for that size of pane and there would have to very little water on it or it would break.

  5. Definately an empty pool, and the water effect could be easily photoshopped. The glass idea is definately plausable but perhaps a bit dangerous with children underneath. They would also have to crane the piece of glass out for the people to get out.

  6. the break in the ladder is not where the solid layer is. Take a close look at the second photo and you can see that the top section of ladder is actually in both sections of the pool.

  7. it’s stupid. too much work, too much money for a poor illusion. How many people will die this winter because in their house some windows have no glasses or plexiglas?

  8. Ok you guys, come on, it’s an easy illusion to see though. That’s the thing though. It’s an illusion, we all know that. So we don’t need five people commenting on how it doesn’t look completely real or whatever.

  9. but the gap is under the water line…. it might just be a very good underwater camera…. if they are statues, why would you not just fill the pool and not have to worry about glass and plastic

  10. Love the idea of glass with water on top, but I’m afraid its not possible. You see the largest piece of glass made for comsumers is 84″ x 120″ thats only 7 feet by 10 feet. and as you can see in the picture the glass would have to be larger that that. Also a piece of glass that size would not be safe to stand under. And it could cost up to $600.00US for a piece that size and then you have to pay for installation too… I just can’t see it happening.

  11. also if you look very closely at the water intake there’s a reflection, rather clear for reflecting off the waves of a pool. and if you can see it there is another reflection of the people to the left and slightly up from the top of the ladder. i agree glass covered with water 2 in a halv inches if you look at the ladder picture.

  12. I’m pretty much with the rest of you. It’s an empty pool covered with a layer of glass that has a current look on it. I think the people are real and there must be an entrance somewhere behind the photographer. Especially since the mom is looking strait at the person on the top.

  13. “this is revealed by the break in the ladder; that’s where the glass or plastic layer is.”

    wrong. That break in the ladder is just that, a break in the ladder. many pools have the ladder in 2 pieces when they go that deeply into the pool. Not to mention the break is well below the water line.

    I am not sure, but I think that ma be real water, with statues of the 3 people.

  14. I think the swimming pool is empty and the top part of the picture was rippled water effect done by photoshop or other photo program.

  15. This pic is alright. I think everyone is over analyzing it with all the glass with water on top of it stuff. Have you ever heard of an under-water camera ?!?!?!?

  16. First Thing, A piece of glass or plastic that big with no support in the middle would definately bow (if not break) under the weight of even an inch of water. Not saying it is impossible, just highy unprobable.

    How about this one (also unprobable for the same reason as above): 1.) fill pool with water 2.) freeze the top 1-2 inches. 3.) drain the unfrozen water from pool and add people.

  17. Ok, so it may not be possible to produce a glass sheet that big, but how about plastic?

    I’m certain its not an underwater shot, because gravity seems to be exherting its full force on them. Look at their hair, the girls bag etc.

    For a human to sink to the bottom of the pool, they’d either need to exhale and release all the air in their lungs, or be weighed down!

  18. There is no water in the pool, look at the hair on the 3 people. All 3 of them have perfectly flat hair. If there was water in that pool, their hair would be all over the place.

    As for the ceiling. The ceiling is painted to give the impression that you are underwater. That guy on top looking down is painted.

  19. personally, i think tha the behaviour of the little girl speaks volumes.
    no way would you get a child of that age to stand open mouthed in water with eyes open too.

    Its a brilliant illusion, with somemanner of re-inforced sheetin with water on it (i doubt photoshop would be the easiest answer to creating this illusion)

    yeas im overanalysing, but it’s worthy of the attention.

    Plus as previously mentionedthe gravitational effect of the water on human hair (which is hollow) isnt present.
    as well as the polyester fibre of the pouches, bags, clothing etc
    Plus the ladder borken in two places, at the ‘water-line’ as wel as a substantial break below it (as most rails are broken below the water line, to avoid injury my miscaclculation by swimmers)

    I think we can accept that this is filmed in an empty space using the aforementioned tools to create the briiantly thought out illusion.

  20. Okay here goes… if you dont want the illusion ruined, dont read this! it is definately plexiglass with a thin layer of water, the ripples are made by a fan, the pool actually looks bigger in the photo than it really is (huh, imagine that!) the people below are real, santa isn’t… sorry! still… looks neat eh?

  21. Why on Earth are two dozen people discussing if it’s underwater or a photoshop etc!
    It quite clearly says this is an ART INSTALLATION.
    So no it’s not photoshop and it’s not an underwater camera.
    See http://kentgallery.com/img/ErlPo3.jpg for another view of it, including the entrance door.
    There is a sheet of either laminated glass or plastic with very thin layer of water on top (from the size of the ripples no more than a centimetre or so) In the picture I linked you can see the patterns cast on the walls by light coming through the water.

  22. I think this is two photos Photoshopped together. One with the pool empty and one with it full.
    The glass top idea won’t fly. It would sag something awful and would be visible.

    The second picture is obvious: it makes you think that the picture was taken under water looking up at the sky, but it was actually taken from the top looking down into the water: just like “Going Up or Going Down?” and “Going Up? Going Down Illusion!”.

    The first picture was taken in a blue room made to look like a swimming pool-with a ladder and filters etc.. I turned the picture upside down. I noticed a few things. You can see the reflection of the rectangular filter. You can see the reflection of the tall girl’s head. There is a little orange leaf floating in the water. My theory is that the people are somehow standing upside down in a blue room with water in it.


  24. You know, it’s amazing how stupid some of you are. Did you read any of the other comments? Like look at the .pdf brochure, or the other pic, or anything? Wow. I bet you are also the idiots that voted for Bush and also think we’re winning a war in Iraq.

  25. this is a cool pic, but the outcome is easy to duplicate using adobe photoshop. This will look familiar if you have the book “Surreal Photography”.

    (about the pool pic)

  26. A Cantonese soap opera actually filmed here (in Japan). The pool is divided with some sort of plane and people can go under it. They can also go on the top floor and look down at the people from the top. There’s a door on the side of the pool for people to enter.

    It’s pretty much like those aquariums tunnels only flat and without any fish.

  27. ok guys, really…. it might just be HALF of a swimming pool, and there also might be a door on the other side. Also, if the glass sheet is big extends past the edge of the pool, then it wont fall in, so it doesnt need extra support….

    think about it

  28. This illusion is real and definitely not photoshopped. The “swimming pool” actually exist at the museum, if you’ve been there. When you’re at the ground level, which is the top of the pool, you can see people walking in “water” at the basement level.

  29. i think they secured a plexi glass screen to the surface of the pool, drained it, poured a layer of water onto the screen and had the people crawl into the pool

  30. two photographs taken, one under water, and one with the pool empty and the people in it. the two are then merged using photoshop.

  31. i really know this one when i was a little kid i watched sum scary movie and when some guy threw a dead women it ended up in a pool,in the pool there was a hole and in the inside it was dry she then climbed up(the zombie girl)and started to get the women with the boy and when they went out of the whole it was wet but this image is real,By the way its real

  32. They are in the pool but there isnt any water in it. They put glass over the pool. Then put water on the glass. It hink they went into the pool first. The put the glass over it. But im not sure.

  33. yes its glass, you can even see the reflection of the woman in the top foto. For the critics, you wouldn’t see the reflection like that in water.

  34. I think the water has to be placed on glass, plus, when u look at the 2nd pic of the ladder u can see a reflection! -ish
    idk but it’s cool

  35. Pic taken of REAL water in pool w/underwater camera, excluding people. Next, pool empty,..people inserted into pool, thhen simply merged in layers in PhotoShop,..Vala….people in pool with water. No real magic hear, just some Really Cool photo editing, and great forthought. Cool as H#%LL Photo Though!

  36. What they did, was that they made two sections in one big room. They installed glass in the middle of the room, added water on top, installed a ladder underneath, then finally, they put in an exit. The ladder’s reflection makes it look like it’s inside the water! (I don’t understand why someone would wanna be under a pool, though. :D! Plus, I’m 11, so… I figured it out! Whoo!)

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