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Photos: Contemporary art you can jump on, climb through and slide down

Reuters/Edgar Su
Please touch the art.
By Caitlin Hu
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Art can be alienating. From the white gloves to the white walls (to the global proliferation of White Cubes) nearly everything about the art world conspires to make art—especially contemporary art—as pristine and coolly distant from greasy-fingered admirers as possible.

Gallery and museum visitors tend to act accordingly. Step into an art space and voices automatically hush, the act of looking becomes a respectfully empty gaze of appreciation. Humans, possessed of five senses, defer to the art object by making sense of it through only one: sight. Everyone knows: don’t touch the art.

Reuters/Stephen Hird
Renoir’s “Les Deux Soeurs” at Sotheby’s

But there are exceptions. Artists and institutions like the Dia: Beacon (housed in an old Nabisco building in Beacon, New York) and Italy’s hikeable Arte Sella are also bringing the public a growing selection of art we can touch, climb, rest against and play with. Below, a few refreshingly interactive works from around the world.



Reuters/Edgar Su
Light installation “CLOUD” in Singapore, 2014.


Mirror Box


Reuters/Ilya Naymushin
The Mirror Box produces reflections creating volumetric geometric figures in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, 2015.

Jump In


Reuters/Neil Hall
The “Jump In” installation in London, 2015.

The Luminarium


The Luminarium installation in Wuhan, China. 2012.



Reuters/Edgar Su
“Tangle” in the Marina Bay Sands mall, Singapore. 2014.

The Super Pool

—Burning Man

Reuters/Jim Urquhart
The Super Pool at the Burning Man 2014 in Nevada.

Defini Fini Infini, Travaux in situ


Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier
“Defini Fini Infini, Travaux in situ” at the MaMo art center in Marseille. 2014.

Infinity Mirrored Room

—Mexico City

Reuters/Tomas Bravo
“Infinity Mirrored Room – Filled With the Brilliance of Life” by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama in Mexico City. 2014.

Isometric Slides


Reuters/Stefan Wermuth
“Isometric Slides” at the Hayward Gallery in London. 2015.



Reuters/Vincent West
“Humanoids” at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. 2014.

Guidepost to New Space


“Guidepost to New Space” by Yayoi Kusama in Hanoi. 2013.

In Orbit


Reuters/Ina Fassbender
“In Orbit” by Tomas Saraceno of Argentina in Dusseldorf. 2013.



Reuters/Ina Fassbender
“Mitten” by Katharina Hinsberg in Cologne, 2001.

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