Room for one colour, 1997

Room for One Color

Posted by kathy on Oct 1, 2007

“I really found it interesting to see our racially diverse tour group of brown, white and yellow skinned people turn into shades of gray-skinned people. I found that concept intriguing, to see us as shades of gray, now more alike than different.”

Beauty 360 degree room One-way colour tunnel Notion Motion
Sunset Kaleidoscope model room aerial
Room for One Color Yellow vs. Purple ventilator Your Mobile Expectations


  1. Nossaile Rufalo
    Posted September 6, 2007 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    That yellow room is something you will never forget. I feel for the staff working in there. If you ever wondered what you look like grayscale, check it out. Like a cheap photoshop filter brought to life.

  2. Posted September 14, 2007 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I wonder…what would a photo look like taken in this room with this kind of light?

  3. Posted September 16, 2007 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    i want this in my room as well. it’s like walking into a black and white photo.

  4. Posted September 16, 2007 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    this is just strange… isay for one that if i could put yellow lightsin my bedroom i would.

  5. David Littlejohn
    Posted September 17, 2007 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Very otherworldly and disconcerting to step off the elevator into a space that turns everybody and everything pale yellow–you feel your insides must be yellow, the air seems full of something. The whole world is pale yellow with gray/black outlines. I had to get out.

  6. Posted September 17, 2007 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    As the lift doors open you are engulfed by unexpected brightness. It takes a while to get used to, but spend some time in here…

  7. Benjamin Manoochehri
    Posted September 18, 2007 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    This was really freaked me out, in a good way. Does anyone know how I can set up a room like this at home?

  8. Carlea Bauman
    Posted September 23, 2007 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    This might have been my favorite part of the exhibit. To have your vision go from the full color spectrum to just black and yellow felt like an out-of-body experience. Very, very cool.

  9. kathy
    Posted October 1, 2007 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    I really found it interesting to see our racially diverse tour group of brown, white and yellow skinned people turn into shades of gray-skinned people. I found that concept intriguing, to see us as shades of gray, now more alike than different.

  10. Jack Mohr
    Posted October 20, 2007 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Its very odd to be devoid of coloration. The best part of the exhibit are the mirror contraptions in the room right after this one.

  11. Alexia
    Posted October 29, 2007 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    This is what it’s like to be color blind.

  12. Posted October 29, 2007 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    A creative usage of lighting which merely seems “ugly” when encountered in parking lots. Presumably the lights put out only a very narrow bandwidth of the spectrum. I’d be curious to know what those wavelengths are. I guess the lighting instruments themselves are very spectrally narrow, and I wonder if any filtration was required to take out stray spikes & bumps that could show other colors. I think that a nice addition to this whole exhibit would be a display of technical explanations, placed discreetly, for those who wish to read them.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted November 8, 2007 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    i accidentally took a photo in this room without a flash on and in the photo the people turned out as yellow silhouettes… it is an amazing room!

  14. Posted November 12, 2007 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    this is a stunningly beautiful exhibition and clearly by an icelandic person. the connection to his landscape is in every space. after seeing cornell it’s like walking into a series of his boxes.

  15. J.E.S.
    Posted November 21, 2007 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    I went to the SFMOMA with my familyfor an art project. We went to the fifth floor first and when the elevator doors opened you immediatley se this room. It was amazing! This is going to sound morbid but it made everyone look as if they were dead. The yellow was very breath taking.

  16. Debbie Smith
    Posted November 23, 2007 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    When I stepped out of the elevator into this room it was eerie…we were all in grey tones, and it reminded me of a 1960’s horror flick..perhaps the best show at the MOMA!

  17. Posted November 26, 2007 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Walking out of the warmly colored elevator into the room was a transcendent experience. Future visitors should stare at a colored brochure as they walk into and out of the room.

  18. M.
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    At first I found this room disturbing and suffocating, then I started to like it. It took a few minutes for my eyes to readjust to normal light when I left this area.

  19. Matt LePeilbe
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    The yellow room was very unique. When I looked around at everyone I noticed that we were all shades of gray. Very cool!

  20. mystical sister
    Posted December 7, 2007 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    By far my favorite. If you go (or go again!) take a really colorful piece of clothing. I had a deep red scarf covered in many colored animals. The change in the colors was mind blowing – it drained away. Stepping in and out of the room with this article really defied comprehension. Also, it was fun to use the scarf in the multiple grotto as well, moving it from the outside made a very interesting display when seen from within. This exhibit is what the Exploratorium should be doing. Amazing.

  21. brenda
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 3:26 pm | Permalink


  22. Tomo
    Posted December 15, 2007 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Since my daughter almost two years old steppd out from the elevator, she seemed confused. I am so grateful MOMA to bring us a new sensory touching exhibition
    like this.

  23. Anonymous
    Posted December 22, 2007 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    This room was awesome!!! My sister looked like she was white not to be racist!!!

  24. SacArtist
    Posted December 24, 2007 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    I was drawn to the space instantly. I looked very closely at my husband’s face and was surprised by the color change. “Drained away” is indeed a very good description. What’s also magical to me is that being in that space is nothing like seeing the world through a pair of yellow lenses; there is something ten times more intense when the yellow is coming from a light.

  25. Stephanie
    Posted December 28, 2007 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    This was by far one of the most intriguing and unusual displays! As I entered a two dimensional black and white world, the familiar features of my friend’s face shifted when viewed in black and white. Utterly fascinating.

  26. madison
    Posted December 29, 2007 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    this is my favorite room because you turn black & white I always wanted to turn black & white.

  27. Anonymous
    Posted December 30, 2007 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Did you know? If you stand in the room for long enough, your vision adjusts and you start to see RAINBOWS!

  28. Posted January 5, 2008 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    faces amazed then
    adjust to the new view
    room for one color

  29. Anonymous
    Posted January 6, 2008 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Iam Brazilian and everything here is so different from my country….our Museums are very interesting, but I enjoying myself a lot with the room for one colour…it is, really, so intriguing… I liked to see my husband and my son in another colour face, hands…thanks a lot…my congratulation!

  30. Luis Rios
    Posted January 6, 2008 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    I was there today and only one word can describe this BIZARRE!!! You are used to see pictures and movies in “black and white”….but to see yourself and people around you like this is amazing! The 360° room for all colors is also amazing, you feel like you are floating, very surreal.

    Overall I loved the museum, one of the best exhibits I’ve seen.

  31. chris miculis
    Posted January 7, 2008 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I just saw the exhibit at SF MOMA. what a fantastic experience. a comment in the audio tour really summed it all up well – you leave the exhibit feeling awakened to your senses and surroundings – eager to uncover more questions about the simplest aspects of humanity and physical reality that surround us everyday.

    thank you for an eye opening day.


  32. rosalie haut
    Posted January 10, 2008 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    as i stepped into the environment everyone was looking at one another and smiling…where else has that ever happened? complete strangers sharing…staring….

  33. Daniel Vogel
    Posted January 12, 2008 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    The entire exhibit was a constant attack on my senses. Eliasson is truly a master at surprising its specators, more so in revealing the magnitude of our real condition in relation to nature. Simply amazing!

  34. Mike Mastre
    Posted January 16, 2008 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    I took the elevator up to this exhibit. When the doors opened I was overwhelmed and amused. Walking blindly into a bright yellow room is a bit shocking. After getting used to the room I watched other people’s reactions of shock. It was quite amusing.

  35. Diana
    Posted January 19, 2008 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Truly unnerving, living in a black and white photo. My friend pointed out that when you take color away you see form. I started to notice the strange texture of people’s skin and the light/shadow and planes of their faces.

  36. blap
    Posted January 19, 2008 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    we spent 10 minutes marveling at our grayness, then closed our eyes and blind leading the blind made our way to the 306 degree room. The juxtaposition was like life and death.

  37. William H.
    Posted January 21, 2008 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    I was fairly weak after a nasty cold, but an energized feeling emerged as stepped out the elevator. This room beamed brightness into my soul. I couldn’t stop smiling. You see everyone in a sepia finish. I advise you to wear some purple!

  38. Anonymous
    Posted January 25, 2008 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    it wz awesome

  39. olive
    Posted February 3, 2008 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    very bright & shocking when you come out of the elevator

  40. Nicole Johnson
    Posted February 4, 2008 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    I love light as a medium. I think it feels forward thinking.

  41. frances
    Posted February 21, 2008 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    I was surprised how a single color light can reveal such contrasts which you otherwise don’t note in white light. The blood flow pattern of your palms, for example. Staying in that room for too long is a form of torture, though!

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  1. […] with his peers. Anyway, MOMA wasn’t terrible. We liked the Olafur Eliasson exhibit (the yellow room was our favorite) but the rest of that place was, well, meh. “How did they do that […]

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