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ACTLD was commissioned by the Mayor of Astana to deliver a tailor made sound & light spectacle for the festivities of Nauryz organized from 21st of March until 1st of April 2013. Since the Persian empire, many cultures in Central Asia celebrate the coming of spring. These festivities were the occasion for our team to collaborate for the very first time in Kazakhstan with local companies.
We conceived a contemporary design to which we integrated elements from the Kazakh culture, history and traditions in order to carry the message of Nauryz festivities and highlight the prestigious and symbolic role played by the capital in the heart of Kazakhstan.
Around the Bayterek Tower, 98 narrow beam lights were installed on top of triangular based columns, referring to the year of foundation of the city of Astana. Their layout was based on the form of ‘’shanyrak’’, the upper dome-like portion of a “yurt,” that we can find on Astana’s emblem.
Our creative concept was based on central and symbolic dimension of Bayterek tower as a tree of life rising from the disk of Sun. Returning after a long winter, the sun appeared as a bright light cutting through obscurity, which we expressed by the beams cutting the air and dancing around the golden egg on the tower of Bayterek, reflecting in it and lighting it up to celebrate the day of the Equinox. Once they were all focused to their zenith, we saw the form of Shanyrak projected on the clouds.
The installation had two different appearances: one during the night, colorful and dynamic and one during the day, calm and playing with the sun light. The finishing of the pillars was golden, with cut outs in form of traditional Kazakh ornaments, to interact nicely with both, daylight and night illumination. At nightfall, 3 sides of the columns were lit-up with tiny and hidden color changing LED sources.
Astana could welcome spring with bright light and no big harm to Nature: the power consumption of the 98 beam lights was of only 198W instead of the typical 4000W beam lights generally used for the same effect. The maximum consumption of LEDs strips lighting up the columns did not exceed 120W per column. These technologies kept an installation of such size both ecological and economical, considering the many shows that took place. We only used 32 strong fixtures to complete our ecological set.
The welcoming of the spring in Kazakhstan can bring many weather surprises, especially during the installation process. Creative, production & technical teams were struggling with snow, wind and sometimes had to work under temperatures that could reach – 30°C.
From « our yurt » ( traditional nomad house) especially conceived for this occasion and used as our headquarters, we programmed 2 different shows that displayed the dynamic illumination of the columns, the beam moving lights on their tops and also 2 x 16 moving lights placed around the Bayterek tower. At nightfall two different “sound and light” shows of 8 minutes each alternated every 15 minutes bringing a modern and artistic vision to the atmosphere of Nauryz by playing with light and a mix of international classics and Kazakh musical pieces. This exceptional concept and set design offered a made to measure spectacle every night until the 1st of April 2013.
In the framework of Nauryz Festivities, the artists of OVO Collective ( Koert Vermeulen – lighting designer, Marcos Vinals Bassols – artistic director, Pol Marchandise – sculptor, Mostafa Hadi –sculptor) exhibited for the very first time their multisensory art installation, OVO, surrounded by 7 spheres to celebrate the Equinox of the Spring in Astana. More information here
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