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Shigeru Ban's Pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale is a Half-Pipe Made of Makeup Palettes. (Really.)

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Shigeru Ban's Venice Art Biennale installation is in fact made of makeup palettes in a nod to its commissioner, the Shiseido Group's Clé de Peau Beauté brand. All photos via Designboom

You'd be forgiven for thinking that Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban's contribution to this year's Venice Art Biennale was made of black mosaic tiles. But, forgiveness notwithstanding, you'd still be wrong: In fact, it was a half-pipe-shaped pavilion made of 90,000 makeup palettes. Commissioned by haute makeup company Clé de Peau Beauté, a subsidiary of Japanese cosmetics juggernaut Shiseido. The glistening work, which was on view in the Italian city last weekend, isn't all beauty and no brains.

Dubbed "Reverberation: Pavilion of Light and Sound," the parabolic installation is composed of a tensile structure made of sheets of acrylic suspended from a frame. The makeup palettes form a loose grid through which sunlight streams. The audio element of the project was a multi-instrument work by Venice-based conductor Keiko Mitsuhashi, who created a soundscape of violin, vibraphone, and flute.

· Shigeru Ban's Pavilion of Light and Sound in Venice for Clé de Peau Beauté [Designboom]