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Pearl of Lunar

Pearl of Lunar


Fresh water pearl

MIT Space exploration Initiative

Pearl of Lunar is a continuation of the project titled The Merchants Trinity which explored infrastructural desire and the futurity of Belt-and-Road Initiatives as seen through wealth accumulation, labor infiltration, and geopolitical control. But also, more ephemerally, the affective meshwork of greed and possessiveness that functions at the level of the individual and corporate entities. Through researching unfinished projects such as the Kra Canal, Space Technology Roadmap and Digital Belt and Road, we map complex relationships between China and the rest of the world. Departing from a motif of the pearl as a signifier of ambitious strategies and predatory tendencies in the oceanic sphere.

Pearl of Lunar portrays both the ancient and future ambitions of the project of the historic Silk Road. The Synchrotron light engraves an unfinished roadmap. The pearl of lunar then sends with a rocket to Low Earth Orbit atmosphere while chemical reactions assemble Nacre or Mother of Pearl which ultimately reflects the future roadmap of an Earth-Moon “Special Economic Zone”.

This project is collaborated with Xin Liu, MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative

Pearl of Lunar is part of Sojourner 2020 project with other 8 artist group.

The works appear at International Space Station for 1 month.

Sojourner 2020 (a 1.5U size unit, 100mm x 100mm x 152.4mm ) will be launched into low Earth orbit for about 30 days. It features a three-layer telescoping structure which creates three different “gravities”: zero gravity, lunar gravity, and Martian gravity. Each layer of the structure rotates independently. The top layer remains still in weightlessness, while the middle and bottom layers spin at different speeds to produce centripetal accelerations that mimic lunar gravity and Martian gravity, respectively. Each layer carries 6 pockets that can hold projects.

Technical information:

Artwork name:

Pearl of Lunar




Henry Tan



This work is part of the following collection:

Sojourner 2020

Fresh water pearl



1 x 1.2 cm



IAAA Art Style:

Launch vehicle / mission:

SpaceX CRS-20 (Dragon), Flacon 9

Host spacecraft / hardware:

International Space Station



Launch location:

SLC40 - Cape Canaveral, Florida

Launch date:

7 Mar 2020

Orbit / space location:

LEO, International Space Station (ISS)

Return vehicle:

SpaceX Dragon

End date:

6 April 2020



Client / Agency:

MIT Space exploration Initiative


Henry Tan



Henry Tan


Sojourner 2020


Sojourner 2020


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