Related News

Home » Feature

Light art that illuminates ideas

THE image of an Antarctic iceberg with a gigantic Arctic polar bear climbing on it has become one of the most iconic pictures about the melting polar regions and threatened wildlife.

The looming bear, which inhabits only the Arctic, dominates the foreground. It appears desolate, with claws just above water in the Antarctic, which is inhabited only by penguins.

The image was created in 2003 by Swiss light artist Gerry Hofstetter with the help of projectors from a Russian expedition vessel in the Antarctic. The image of the bear was projected onto the iceberg.

"With light, you can change a building into a theme or a message while natural monuments are perfect for environmental protection causes," the 48-year-old artist tells Shanghai Daily.

"I illuminate such architecture to create illusions and I often convey a message through such illusions."

For the first time, Hofstetter is bringing his spectacular light art to Shanghai from today to Wednesday, illuminating Lupu Bridge, the Fairmont Peace Hotel and the Pudong Development Bank. The work celebrates the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Switzerland.

An exhibition of his adventures in illumination will open Friday evening and run through the end of the year at a gallery on Hengshan Road. It's titled "Light, Art, Visions" and features his work in daunting desert terrain, oceans, mountains, polar regions, cathedrals and other landmarks.

In one of the videos, an iceberg in the Antarctic collapses right in front of the camera set on the boat where Hofstetter was preparing the projector.

He has traveled to the Egyptian desert to project pictures of camels onto a pyramid. It was an artistic pleasure to work in the empty area but it was an enormous challenge to bring electricity and projector into the desert.

He has also lighted St Mark's Square in Venice, a venue crowded with people and filled with city lights. His challenge was how to achieve the illusion.

"I have confronted all kinds of challenges while trying to do my work all around the world, in different places and under different weather conditions. It is exactly the fun to solve the combination of these challenges that make the projects attractive and meaningful," he says.

Hofstetter's latest challenge is the first illumination of China, three nights of light shows: today on Lupu Bridge, tomorrow on the Fairmont Peace Hotel and Wednesday on the Pudong Development Bank.

Hoftstetter has chosen to begin his work on the bridge at 6:30pm, which he considers "the perfect timing for illumination" because it's right around sunset when a little bit of blue is added to the whole effect.

For the shows on the Bund, he has decided to work at around midnight when the area is less lighted and the crowds are thin.

He hopes to be invited back to China in the future and illuminate the gorgeous scenery in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

"My idea is to illuminate from a boat flowing down the river, to project birds and dragons onto the beautiful mountains while the boat moves with the current," he concludes.

Gerry Hofstetter's light art show

Date: September 13-15

Venue: Lupu Bridge (September 13, 6:30pm); Fairmont Peace Hotel (September 14, midnight); Pudong Development Bank (September 15, midnight)

Gerry Hofstetter's exhibition

Date: September 17-December 31, 10am-7pm

Venue: Galerie Junger Shanghai, 525 Hengshan Rd

Tel: 5179-5003


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend