Christie Inks Deal with London’s Barbican Centre, Powers ‘Christmasland in New Taipei City’
Christie has signed a wide-ranging, long-term partnership agreement with the Barbican Centre in London to provide visual technology solutions to the world-class arts and learning center. The partnership will transform the public spaces of the Barbican by providing new platforms for its rolling program of artistic commissions and new focal points to communicate with the public. Christie will supply the latest laser phosphor projection, LED video walls, as well as Christie MicroTiles and Christie Pandoras Box media servers. The displays will be seen at entrances, across the foyers and at key points throughout the building. As part of the partnership, Christie will have access to meeting rooms and conference facilities to host partners and clients.
To coincide with this new partnership, the Barbican is holding an open call for artists, collectives and designers across all disciplines to create a projected artwork that responds to the phrase ‘What’s going on here, then?’
Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Managing Director of the Barbican says, “We’re delighted to be announcing this new partnership with Christie today. Christie’s cutting-edge hardware and software will help animate the public spaces of our iconic building and help us to deliver outstanding art in the foyers for free. Our foyers have already housed innovative light sculptures, digital installations and audio journeys by both emerging and established artists. We’re extremely excited to now be launching an open call and look forward to receiving bold, dynamic and imaginative submissions.”
Already, with the initial installation of four laser phosphor projectors in the main foyer, the Barbican’s vision to animate its public spaces, engage audiences and support artists working in non-traditional art forms has gained traction with the public.
Since summer 2016, Christie laser phosphor projectors, powered by Pandoras Box, have illuminated two separate installations in the foyers. Numen, by artist Zarah Hussain, uses two Christie HS Series laser phosphor projectors.
Numina is a vast hexagonal grid illuminated with projection mapped geometric patterns that draw from traditional Islamic art. The bright projection onto a 3D sculpture is attracting significant attention both in person and across social media. A second installation, ‘let’s take a walk’ by theater collective ‘non zero one,’ greets visitors with projections of six individuals who guide visitors on an audio journey around the Centre. The projection lights up a wall on the Ground Floor foyer using two Christie GS Series projectors and an amazing sight line, drawing visitors in and engaging them with the interactive tour.
The partnership underlines the ongoing and ever-evolving nature of the relationship between technology providers and content creators. As Simon Smith, Christie’s Vice President of EMEA commented, “Christie’s mission is to provide the world’s best shared experiences. Technology and content go hand-in-hand and we appreciate working alongside artists who can provide fantastic content that make those shared experiences so memorable. For us, the partnership with the Barbican represents a collaboration that brings our technology together with artists under the global spotlight. It is a wonderful opportunity not only for emerging artists to create new works but also for thousands of visitors to engage with the Barbican and all it offers as a leading arts venue. We are delighted by the feedback we have had so far from the first installations that have been shown.”
The partnership also allows the Barbican to communicate and interact with visitors in new ways. Over the coming months, 28 Christie Velvet 3mm LED tiles will be installed above the main entrance in Silk Street, welcoming visitors with customized messages from content supplied by the Barbican, tailored to the 7-meter wide LED configuration. At three other key points, HS Series projectors – which can project in portrait mode – will also display the Barbican’s content.
James Belso, Senior Sales Manager for the UK, worked with the Barbican team to help plan and advise on how the technological requirements for the brief could be met. “Working with the concept of the Barbican providing bespoke content in specific formats was one of the interesting aspects of the planning process,” said Belso. “Christie 360, our content agency, advised on content creation. The partnership does not just include our display technology but also what is driving those displays, namely that all content is being stored and played out on Christie Pandoras Box. From our perspective, the Barbican is a fantastic location in the heart of the City of London. It’s not only a leading arts organization but a venue where people come to relax and spend time.”
Hexogon Solution illuminates New Taipei City with Christie Boxer 4K30 projectors
In other Christie news, Christie’s rental staging partner Hexogon Solution Pte Ltd has ignited the Christmas spirit by delivering spectacular visuals that captivated thousands of spectators who turned up for the official lighting up ceremony of the highly-anticipated “Christmasland in New Taipei City” event on November 19.
The stunning projection mapping performances, which runs nightly until January 2, 2017, are planned and executed by Hexogon Solution using a total of 42 Christie Boxer 4K30 3DLP® projectors. A slew of bright and vibrant visuals depicting Christmas adventures of the beloved Santa Bear and Fang Tou Bear family project onto the façade of the 30-storey New Taipei City Hall building in Banqiao District, as well as a fascinating 360-degree projection on a 36-meter-high cone-shaped Christmas tree in front of the building. Not only does this mark the debut of Boxer 4K30s for a major event in Taiwan, it is also the biggest ever projection mapping performance to be held here – with a projection area of 5,239 square meters (the size of a soccer field).
Adrian Goh, Group Managing and Artistic Director, Hexogon Solution, says, “We are immensely honored to be given this opportunity to create this visual spectacular for the New Taipei City Government, by deploying 33 Boxer 4K30s for projections on the building’s surface and nine projectors for mapping around the cone-shaped Christmas tree. Our objective is to create a world-class performance for the enjoyment of Taiwanese spectators during this festive period. At the same time, we wish to set the standard of what it takes to deliver a good projection mapping show in terms of technology, brightness and image quality in Taiwan.”
According to Goh, preparations for this event commenced in June with the design of projection mapping contents, which were created completely in-house by the Hexogon team. “For this performance, we worked towards achieving contents with a more three-dimensional approach. The specified characters were created in 3D, rather than using 2D animation that was done previously. The setting also involved a lot of optical illusion techniques, by conducting many rounds of simulations with mapping to bring the environment to life.”
The Hexogon team worked round the clock to meet the short timelines and to overcome the unpredictable on-site weather conditions, as the nightly performances have to continue regardless of the weather. Tapping on the valuable experience gathered during its involvement in Singapore’s National Day Parades, the Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix, as well as last year’s South East Asian sporting event, which set a new Guinness World Records title for the greatest light output in a projected image, the Hexogon team successfully overcame the challenges to complete the setup in a week’s time.
“We developed our own enclosures that allow alignment and even the actual show to run under extreme weather conditions. With proper exhaust, cooling system and optical glass front case specially customized for this event, we are able to extend the heat tolerance of the Boxer 4K30 projectors to better manage the performances,” said Goh.
The result is a mesmerizing Christmas extravaganza that spread the holiday cheer and Christmas fun for both the young and old. Featuring a series of exciting events from county fairs and large concerts to markets selling handmade goods and carnival parades, the “Christmasland in New Taipei City” event is one of the most popular hangouts during the Christmas season, as it embodies a joyful and celebratory atmosphere.
“We’re pleased with the performance of the Boxer 4K30s and are also delighted to accomplish our objective of delivering the biggest projection mapping performance in Taiwan. The client is also happy that whatever we suggested has all been fulfilled and proven correct. Hopefully this will set a new standard and customers’ expectation for future shows in Taiwan,” Goh said.
Lin Yu, Vice President, Christie Asia Pacific, commented, “As one of the most prominent rental stagers in the region, Hexogon Solution is continually improving its capabilities and know-how to deliver spectacular and truly memorable visual experiences. I’m delighted that our Boxer 4K30 projectors has once again played an important role in the staging of the largest ever projection mapping performance in Taiwan. I congratulate Adrian and his team for delivering another fantastic show during this festive season, and look forward to more exciting projects from Hexogon Solution in the near future.”
Weighing in at less than 160 pounds (68kg), Christie Boxer 4K30 is a 30,000 lumen, high-resolution, projector designed for high impact live events. Boasting 4K (4096 by 2160) native resolution and 3DLP® quality, and built-in Christie TruLife™ image processing to provide the highest bit depth and fastest frame rate, the Boxer is easy to use and offers optimum feed and performance flexibility.