Huang Mincong: Lighting Festival Is A Trend Of Urban Management

- Jan 14, 2019-

"Thank you for your contribution to our motherland." This is the highest honor we have ever received, and all our hard work is worth it."

On December 7, 2018, the mayor of Lyon, together with delegations from all friendly cities, visited Huang Mincong's lighting art work Rain Strikes a Banana, which was unanimously considered to be very beautiful and shocking. Finally, the Chinese Consul General in Lyon sincerely said, "Thank you for your contribution to our motherland."

After the lights were turned off on the last night of Lyon Lighting Festival, the crowds around the Little Roman Theatre did not leave for a long time, looking forward to the re-lighting of the works...

"Rain beats banana" is the most beautiful and shocking work in Lyon Light Festival in recent years, and it is the largest work in history. In the future, this work will be recommended for a worldwide tour in more than 50 friendly cities with which Lyon has established diplomatic ties. "We have fulfilled a mission of non-governmental diplomacy, and we are not humiliating our mission." "Rain beating banana" designed by Professor Huang Mincong has introduced Chinese Guangzhou culture to the world. Rain beating banana has become the first Cantonese word learned by many Lyons.

Recently, a group of people from Aladdin Lighting Network had the privilege of deeply communicating with Mr. Huang and listening to him elaborate on the story behind the works of Rain Strikes a Banana and the protagonist of the story.

The Beautiful Spark of the Integration of Chinese and Western Cultures

During the exchange at the end of 2016, Mr. Huang reached a consensus with the Lyon government and the Lyon Lighting Festival organizing committee: the two city lighting festivals'works were exchanged and displayed. It coincides with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic friendship between Guangzhou and Lyon in 2018. This work can be used as the finale of the annual celebrations.

After a period of reflection, Mr. Huang eventually set the theme in Shawan area, which is rich in Guangzhou culture, and took the most traditional Cantonese music "Rainfall Banana" as the source of inspiration for the design. The Lyon Lighting Festival held in December coincides with the artistic conception of Rain Strikes a Banana when it is raining and snowing. In April 2017, the director of the Lyon Metropolitan International Relations Office was very satisfied with the idea, because in recent years, Lyon Lighting Festival works mainly focus on architectural projection, and there are fewer solid lighting installation works.

"It took two years from conception to final exhibition, with the help of my daughter and son-in-law." "Rain beats banana" this work can be said to be teacher Huang's family's cooperation. Mr. Huang's son-in-law is a French musician. He is responsible for controlling the music rhythm of the whole work, compiling with light. The music integrates western music elements such as saxophone, but Chinese traditional culture is still the core, including thematic music such as banana, clouds chasing the moon, Lotus Pond Moonlight and so on. Only in this way can the work cater to the European understanding of Chinese culture. The works also include 40 years of reform and opening up, and all the other areas with Chinese characteristics.

At the same time, "Rain beats banana" also adds performance lights to render the historical and cultural heritage sites, more than 2,000 years of ancient Roman theatre, showing more than 2,000 years of history of the ancient Roman Empire, each detail of the work can show a story in every turn. "In this regard, the French are surprised at the rich connotation of Chinese culture, because they are used to simply expressing a meaning, such a cultural fusion performance makes them feel strange." Mr. Huang said.

Two thousand years theatre, listen to the rhyme of "Rain beats banana"

Roman ruins, amazing "clouds chasing the moon" elegant

Under Fuweiye Mountain, the "Lotus Pond Moonlight" shines brightly.

The success of "Rain Strikes Banana" lies in the perfect integration of Western culture and art, but also reflects Chinese traditional culture. Therefore, "Rain beats banana" is very popular with the world audience, and is well known by Lyons, "Lyons will use Cantonese to say rain beats banana." Teacher Huang laughed.

The episodes in the story are more touching

From the preparation of works, installation to exhibition, there are many episodes. In the site selection of the exhibition, the first place to be displayed was in the square next to the Lyon Opera House. However, due to the small size of the exhibition, the Lyon Lighting Festival Organizing Committee has provided two more places for selection, which is still inappropriate. After investigation, Mr. Huang "Xiangzhong" visited the ancient Roman theatre on Mount Fulviye, but his works were not allowed to be displayed in the state of maintenance in 2018. Mr. Huang recalled that it was a headache at that time. "Because the display place had a great influence on the shape of the work, I had to redesign it, but the effect of the work would be greatly reduced due to the small limitation of the site."

In August 2018, a turning point occurred. The Organizing Committee of Lyon Lighting Festival considered that only the ancient Roman theatre was the best match for the work "Rain and Banana", and finally approved the Little Roman theatre as the exhibition venue.

In addition, the delivery time of container company was delayed for five days before installation, which resulted in only four days of installation time, greatly affecting the installation process of the works. For this reason, the cooperation docking company arranged by the Lyon government spent a lot of money on docking and installation with Teacher Huang's team. At the same time, the creative team members also worked together to scramble for seconds to install, working from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, finally. The light was successfully turned on the day before the opening.

"The ancient Roman theatre hill was embellished by the flowers of Guangzhou City, which was"walking"and evolved into a warm behavior art. Mr. Huang recalled that the most unforgettable little tidbit was that every night during the Lighting Festival, we sent specially made Guangzhou Flowers, Plants and Cotton Lamps to the children on the spot. Everyone's face was filled with smiles.

Lighting Festival is a trend of city management

Lighting Festival is a good form of urban management and a trend of urban management. As a city with profound cultural heritage, Guangzhou needs to present Guangzhou's image to the general public with the Lighting Festival as a city business card. At the same time, the next step also needs to consider how to bring practical benefits to the city. In just four days, Lyon Lighting Festival attracted 3-4 million people, bringing about 30-40 billion economic benefits for the city. Guangzhou boasts a population of 18 million. How can the Lighting Festival generate revenue for the government?

"The government must break through the institutional problems and manage the lighting festival with city festivals. The Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Tourism jointly plan to create an international lighting festival with the combination of culture and tourism industry. This is also a key consideration for next year's Guangzhou International Lighting Festival. If we solve this problem, we have the best qualifications in the world. As the general consultant of Guangzhou International Lighting Festival, Mr. Huang is eager to break through the limitations of local lighting energy saving and develop it.

In addition, the political color of domestic lighting Festival is too strong to be pushed abroad, and foreign countries tend to be more minority, so as to tell a story, and both artistic and religious, behind each work is painstaking. Mr. Huang believes that in the conception of Lighting Festival works, we should not only realize the combination of art and technology, but also embody the cultural connotation. "Five thousand years of history of the Chinese nation, how to integrate with modern lighting art, which has a huge creative space."

Accumulation of knowledge about sand accumulation and tower formation is an important quality

"Reading ten thousand volumes, writing like God." Mr. Huang's office is full of books of all kinds. This is not all his books. "I have more than 10,000 books in all." Mr. Huang said that art is the most important part of lighting, technology is the basis, and the accumulation of cultural knowledge is an important quality of lighting designers. "There are two kinds of knowledge, one is that I know it by myself, the other is that I know where to find it."

It is Mr. Huang's accumulation of knowledge and culture and his profound understanding of the history of the Chinese nation that have produced the touching work Rain Strikes a Banana with great cultural connotations.

During the conversation, the reporter learned that Mr. Huang Mincong was born in liberal arts. In 89, he abandoned the position of production manager of large enterprises and started his own business. Since then, he has entered the lighting industry. In the early 1990s, he founded Guangzhou Mingshi Lighting Engineering Design Co., Ltd., the first national lighting design enterprise in China. At that time, when China's economy began to take off, Mr. Huang realized that the city lighting industry, which could shape the image of the city, would enter a stage of vigorous development. He began to cooperate with Fudan University in Shanghai, giving priority to selecting excellent graduates, increasing the team's core design strength, and devoting his energy to the lighting design business, completing a number of benchmarking projects in the industry.

Among them, the landscape lighting design project of Wuyi Mountain in 2003-2004 was the first "double heritage" night tour lighting design project in China. "At that time, it took a year to plan the design plan, get up at 4:00 a.m. every day, observe the changes of animals and plants on the mountain, and collate detailed data." The design scheme was proved by Fudan University and finally approved by the State Environmental Protection Administration. The research data for this project is still a typical textbook case.

Huang Mincong, the representative of domestic lighting design industry, who is fond of both traditional history and culture and innovative, has the courage to challenge and effectively integrate art and new technology. He is gradually pushing Chinese lighting art to the world with enthusiasm.