Up until now, we have participated in anniversary project lighting events in various countries. But the very first of these events was the light project for the event commemorating the 150th anniversary of the friendship between France and Japan that was held in September 2008. The Embassy of Japan in France had asked: “Would it be possible to give some kind of light performance for the anniversary year?” We thought of the big concept of staging light-ups using wall projections along the banks of the river Seine, along which many people pass by daily as a major artery of Paris, and light-ups on 25 of the river’s bridges.
It was however extremely difficult to collect all the permissions. I had to go to the Prefecture of Police of Paris, Paris City Council Office of Historical Building Management, River Police, Paris Harbor Authority, and so forth. All up, I had to go to more than 10 locations, give the explanation anew and then file a request. It is a level of complexity and bureaucratic slowness that would be incomprehensible in Japan. I received the final permission just after the rehearsal on the day before the event. Luckily the entire four days miraculously had clear weather. We projected an original video art composed with 150 Japanese art works of National-Treasure class on the river walls, illustrated by the original sound remixed from traditional Japanese music and contemporary rhythm, and we shone color light-ups based on the theme of Japan’s four seasons onto the bridges to realize a city-scale light works that encompassed the whole of Paris.
: Executive Committee for project Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of Japan-France Friendship, La Seine - Light Messages from Japan
Collaboration : Motoko Ishii Lighting Design
Dates : 2008
Organisation, video art creation, lighting design and show