Chi-Yung Wong's Big Bang-Inspired Scenographic Light Installation
When agnès b. is not busy masterminding the vintage-inspired look of her boutiques, the French fashion designer has a penchant for introducing the world to extraordinary artworks from all over. The newest manifestation of this is the LES LUMIÈRES IMAGINAIRES exhibition currently showing at agnès b.’s LIBRAIRIE GALERIE in Hong Kong.
This scenographic installation comes courtesy of Cantonese stage designer and light artist Chi-Yung Wong. Aside from being the lighting consultant for Chanel and Louis Vuitton, Wong specializes in creating lighting for theatrical performance environments. He did particularly enthralling work for Gaybird’s “Digitial Hug” performance.
We caught up with Wong to chat about LES LUMIÈRES IMAGINAIRES, his creative process, and when he first discovered his love for light.
The Creators Project: What is the LES LUMIÈRES IMAGINAIRES about? How does the audience engage with the scenographic world you have created?
Chi-Yung: The exhibition is about light, space and how our senses understand these two.
Can you explain a bit about how you created the installation?
After coming up with the idea, I extensively researched the Big Bang, parallel universes, and delusion. From there, I created the installation.
When did you start working with light? How has your use of light evolved over the course of your career?
I always wanted to be an installation artist and started using light as my medium when I was 16. I went to the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts to study theater lighting. When I was a student, I also became very interested in theater arts, and I incorporated what I had learnt from theater theories into my personal works.
You have designed lighting for theater and also high-end stores such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton. How do you blend artistic lighting design into commercial projects?
I have been asked this question quite often. There is quite a different between performing arts and commercial projects. In a theater project, the lighting designer is an artist of light and it’s all about how the lighting design interprets the performance. It takes a great deal of time to work with the director, choreographers, set designer, and other design and production team members to make a good show. In commercial projects, it’s about how we perform our artistic senses and skills to help develop the project.
What is the role of technology in your creative process, and in your life?
To many people, lighting design seems very technical, but it doesn’t mean we are less artistic than the other design team members. For me, I always work on simple subjects and look for their deeper meaning. I consider what subject I would like to work on and develop it into something inspirational for the visitors. I then look for the elements, materials, and technology that could help me and turn my idea into a real work.
Images courtesy of CY Wong.