All photos by Darren Pearson, Diliz, Alfredo Alvarez, Ivan Lucio, Marcel Panne, Nacho Cosio, Mass, Sina Weibo and me. All images are clickable. Video report is in the bottom :)
The story of this event started long time ago, in 2015, when Chinese Representative Roy Wang helped a lot for me to install not big LPWA exposition in Lanzhou, which was a part of Alliance’s support program for UNESCO’s International Year of Light. Those experience of working with Chinese partners was a base for more bigger event – 1st International Light Painting Exhibition in China. Since then, we worked together for it. Spring 2016 brought good news for us – due Roy’s efforts, we had got the offer to organize big LPWA event, including exhibition and LP activity on location. Client was local government of Longhushan enclave. They entrust to make really big culture event to Sina Weibo Company, who is Chinese parallel of Twitter, this fact for sure was most important for making this event popular on national level. The goal was to represent Longhushan area as “most beautiful place for light painting”.
Next level of preparation was in summer 2015, when Roy and me met each other in Oviedo, where we discuss in details all things which should be done for China event. And finally, August gave us total plan and budget for the event, since then the time became very squeezed, because we has only 1 month to realize it.
Thus, starting point was in late September, when all invited artists has got Chinese visas and prepared short video calls for Chinese people (in Chinese language also!). Weibo started to promote LPWA Longhushan Special Event a week before, look how funny it was :)
Getting tickets for all foreigners using all passports wasn’t easy, but funny enough. Shanghai railway station.
Distance between Shanghai and Yingtan (railway station closer to Longhushan) is about 1000 km, and we reach it in just 3 hours on comfortable hi-speed train.
Final destination made us speechless! We felt as coming to paradise. Nature landscapes and Landison Hotel was so beautiful, and inspired us a lot for creative work.
Almost every day it was spitting. Nice weather for hot job! After 2 days of territory exploration and hard discussion with local stuff, we started to build a 10 meters tower for camera installation in higher POV.
Still spotting. Desired POV was epic, and we started to mark the image lines over ground… but rain made ground wet so much, that our marks couldn’t be fixed. That was a reason to use direct image projection to the ground, with addition of light trails over projected dragon and tiger. For better composition, we also drew some figures across center and lit the roofs of buildings.
Listen to Alfredo Alvarez: “We had one day to locate, to plan, another day for rehearsals, and a third day to resolve and make our big photo, with the media there to make a report. The weather was getting worse, with heavy intermittent rain. The first day, we did not get the final OK for the location until midnight, time Sfhir had to start working on the design, an ambitious light anamorphism in Zheng Yi Guan temple in Longhushan, with a tiger and a dragon which appear out of the ground in three dimensions. Everything was going to be more complicated: working on scaffolding with water around, marking the design on the floor for the next day, our tools working under the rain ... The nerves began to emerge as we approached to the temple. But once we arrived we were very lucky, the rain had almost stopped, and we could start with our work, not easy, but it was something. Everything was wet, and climbing projector, computer, cameras and tripods was a challenge and not an easy task. We got to have everything ready and also covered thanks to a team of brave lightpainteres and a large umbrella…” (complete story about making off massive LP image in Longhushan please read in Alfredo’s blog).
And final result is:
Multiexposure due to extreme conditions, work made under a typhoon. Directed by Frodo CHILDREN OF DARKLIGHT, original design by Sfhir.
Artists: Frodo Álvarez DKL, Edu Cajigal, Sfhir, Nacho Cosío, Ivan Lucio, Diliz, Sergey Churkin, Mass, Marcel Panne, Dustin Leenen, Darren Pearson, Roy Wang
Official opening ceremony in Yingtan, on central square in front of exhibition venue. It was first ever time in LPWA history when opening ceremony was for all citizens, with drummers show, decorated with all national flags of those countries, which were presented on exhibition! Ceremony was opened by major persons from local administration (on left photo – me and general secretary of Longhushan Administration Committee mr.Mao Jianhua). After very impressive speeches all LPWA Team was presented on the stage with local administration.
Our exhibition has beautiful space in Taoism Museum, unique place in this area. Chinese partners used all possible ways to showcase light painting artworks: monitors (main part of exhibition), and plazma wall, light boxes, prints, banners, projections as nice decoration. Light paintings were everywhere :)
Here is total list of exhibitors:
ARGENTINA: Elemental Light
AUSTRALIA: Rob Turney
BRAZILIA: Natalia Pires
CANADA: Patrick Rochon, Eric Pare, Scott Ireson
CHINA: Roy Wang, Mxing, Emil Xie, Rui Shu, Xiao Yang
FINLAND: Janne Parviainen, Hannu Huhtamo
FRANCE: Jester Light, Diliz, Jadikan, Vincent Bruno, Nico Luz, Rewolf, Mass
GERMANY: Bernhard Rauscher, Gunnar Heilmann, LightMark, Alexandr Gnezdilov
INDONESIA: Putu Toni
IRELAND: Gareth Nathan
RUSSIA: Sergey Churkin, Nick Deev, Victor Ribas, HoryMa
SPAIN: Alfredo Alvarez, Riders Of Light
UK: Alan Jaras, Rosetta Whitehead, Dan Whitaker
USA: Seeing with Photography Collective, Jason Rinehart, Dennis Calvert, Eric Mellinger, Darren Pearson, Alex Deforest, Aurora Crowley, Brian Matthew Hart, Steven Erra, Jason D. Page, David Hull, Michael Newcomer
We were glad to met in Longhushan some Chinese artists, coming to Longhushan from another provinces. Upper photo – Rui Shu with his wife.
Exhibition and all night games attract a lot of interest from Chinese media. Big press conference in Yingtan Press Hall. Conference started with Mass realtime drawing, to show LP in action. I made observation of light painting experience since early 1800s till 2009 (as described in our Historical LP Catalogue). Darren showed his presentation of LP creatures.
Marcel presented best LP animations from Lichtfaktor. The audience was shocked. Questions – answers - ovation.
Every day (most correct would be say – every night) we gave a few interviews for Weibo reporting team and for various TV channels under brand CCTV, even once for Xinhua News Agency. Most Weibo reports was online translation. In fact, total coverage from all interviews and reports was about 40.000.000 viewers per this week. For such big country as China it is not too much, but for the Alliance it was huge!
Next portion of our adventure was making collective LP animation. We started to prepare for it since first day of appearance, but rain and massive image in Zhengyi Temple moved working nights for animation to the end of trip. Finally, showers went to mist and has got lucky chance to realize our plans. LP animation was done in 2 nights. All guys were divided for 4 groups, and every group has their own location (and even two for Diliz & Mass). Animation idea is about the region of Longhushan, beautiful spot in China, place of myth and Taoism. First night after dinner we had 1 hour for final planning. Marcel was very endurant and explained us our tasks. Then bus delivered us to the locations, group by group. Artists coming out the bus said to all other “good luck!”… and disappeared in the night with all gear. Actually, it seems like marines going to danger mission :) All groups worked separately, and we even didn’t see what another group made until final editing October 7. But at 2nd night we made final scene for animation, where all artists has contributed their light. Animation concept, advices and editing for this outstanding piece of light painting art was by Marcel Panne (Lichtfaktor).
Final edition of massive LP animation made in Longhushan you can see here.
It is impossible being in China, do not talking about Chinese cuisine! It was celebration of tastes and delicious meal. Round tables makes you feel friendly and it is very funny to rotate the table hoping to get something special from the dish :)
My special words about beauty of Longhushan area. Natural harmony gives you soul quietness. Soul quietness gives you clear mind. Clear mind gives you all what you deserve.
My special words for people in China. They are simply amazing. So kind and patient. Always smile and trying to help you. They are curious and modest. They are brave and enterprising. It was my best discovery in 2016 year.
In conclusion, it was amazing time while Longhushan adventure. We became a real team, speaking on universal language, language of art. We became more friendly with each other. I knew all guys in team before this trip, but in these few days everyone opened his soul for me in its better manner. Thank you dear friends for your priceless support :)
Last day in Longhushan. Job done. All is packed.
Happy Sina Weubo team: upper row from left to right – bus driver, Gao Xiang, lower row Zeng Ziyi, Vera, Lucia, Wang Qian, Jane, Yu Dandan, Fan Fan, Eva
Happy LPWA team: Jordan Steinert, Dustin Leenen, Darren Pearson, Mass, Edu, Ivan Lucio, Marcel Panne, Diliz, Nacho Cosio, Alfredo Alvarez, lower row – me.
Sfhir couldn't be there to take a part in this photo, he was busy in town :)
People behind the scene, but very important – our translators Haiyan Liu and Lin Jin. Thank you girls for your hard work to communicate us to China world!
We have to gratitude our sponsor Longhushan Administration, which made possible this outstanding Special Event. We have to say huge thanks our perfect organizer Sina Weibo, who made unforgettable this experience.
Longhushan is forever in our souls.
More artistic impression please find in Riders Of Light blog.
Official LPWA video from Longhushan you can see here :)
More live photos in our Facebook album!
Best regards Sergey