We most often connote visuals with art. Art is something we see, and when we interact with an artist’s work, it is assumed that we are its viewers. The constructions of Ernesto Neto allow us to engage more than one of our five senses.

Neto lists his materials for 2012 installation piece,“The Sun Lits Life, Let the Son”: polypropylene and polyester rope, plastic balls, plants, terra cotta, black pepper, turmeric, cumin, and cloves. Visitors to the New York gallery space walked through a crocheted, suspended creation, touching and breathing in a world inspired by the artist’s Brazilian heritage and own imagination.

Translucent bags of sand, plants, and rice hang like orbs from museum ceilings, melding the “organic and manmade, the natural, spiritual and social worlds,” writes Neto. We cannot close our eyes and touch a painting in the MoMA, but with installations like Neto’s we can feel the beads between our fingers and the threads beneath our feet. Neto has commented that he wants his work to be a body, to be something living.

Born in Rio de Janeiro and still currently working in Brazil, Neto translates an entire culture to global exhibition spaces. What better way to understand than to touch, smell and move within?