Transparent vases create an optical illusion of colors stretching into nothingness

It is probably too easy to take vases for granted since they’re meant to hold the flowers that are supposed to grab your attention. Of course, the right combination of a beautiful flower arrangement and an equally eye-catching vase can have a stronger impact than just one or the other. And when it comes to being eye-catching, there is probably nothing better than an invisible vase, or at least one that seems to disappear and reappear out of thin air. Thanks to the seemingly magical play of colors, materials, and shapes, this vase collection takes center stage by deceiving your brains into thinking that parts of its form have stretched so far to the point of disappearing completely.

Designer: Bo Zhang

Pliable materials have the tendency to grow thinner the more you stretch them, as one can easily see with rubber, clay, or dough. As these stretched sections become thinner, they also have a tendency to become paler, presuming they have some distinct color, to begin with. In the real world, these stretched objects will break at some point, but fantasy might make us think that these parts can instead become invisible and disappear.

This is exactly the kind of fantasy illusion that the Stretch Color vase collection generates in our minds. The mysterious shapes of these crystalline vases are meant to reflect its designer’s “obsession with the color of the reconstruction space,” and its illusion works on multiple levels beyond its disappearing act. Depending on the angle you’re viewing it, the vase could sometimes look like a 2D planar art painting or sometimes a 3D sculptural artwork. It’s almost as if the vases were designed to confound the mind with both their beauty as well as their conflicting visual signals.

The vases come in three forms, two of which seem to bend and stretch near the middle but have full color at both ends. Perhaps the most visually perplexing member of the trio is the vase whose form ends where its color disappears, strengthening the illusion of stretching to the point of becoming nothing. The vases are, in a way, also testaments to sophisticated manufacturing processes considering how they also defy conventional shapes and color patterns.

Of course, with vases like these, it’s almost a shame to have them filled with flowers that take the attention away from their mesmerizing forms. They do force a sense of minimalism by making you pick simpler flowers and arrangements that truly bring out the vase’s beauty, not to mention further trick your mind into wondering how the flowers or parts of the vase manage to stay afloat despite the missing parts.