Famen Temple projects its story
CHINA: Famen Temple in Shaanxi Province’s Baoji City is widely regarded as ‘the ancestor of pagoda temples in the Guanzhong area’. It was built during the Northern Zhou Dynasty, which ran from the year 557 to 581, by Emperor Huan and the Eastern Han Dynasty’s Emperor Ling. In addition to its lifespan of almost a century and a half, Famen Temple also lays claim to the title of China’s largest holy Buddhist sanctuary.
With such history behind it, the monks of Famen Temple wish to impart the sanctuary’s story on those who visit. To help with this, 24 of Digital Projection’s HighLite Laser II projectors have been installed in what is reportedly the largest single fixed laser projection installation in China. These are used to tell four ancient tales from Famen Temple’s past.
‘The temple’s monks believe that by telling the people the true spirit of Tao, infinity will be reached,’ shares Mark Wadsworth, Digital Projection international marketing manager. ‘The recollections of the Famen Temple are designed to transport visitors back thousands of years to see the events through their own eyes, rather as though they are time travellers. The effect they wanted was to be like opening temporal and spatial gates, with people and things from the past thousands of years passing by the audience.’
The installation took place in the pagoda’s north hall and spans six separate performance areas – The Prelude, The Wish (which is divided between two areas), The Audacity, The Battle against Demons and Meditations – which covers a total of 7,300 sq-m. Audiences walk from area to area, witnessing the transformation of the temple over the course of its history.
Purportedly chosen for their durability as well as image quality, the HighLite Laser II projectors are distributed across the different sections of the performance. Three facilitate the telling of the The Prelude, while seven are split between the two sections of the east and central halls that showcase The Wish, all spanning 5,000 sq-m. Meanwhile, a further six of the projectors have been installed to create a 360-degree panoramic effect for The Audacity. The Battle against Demons calls on another three to project the imagery on 126 sq-m of gauze. The final nine units serve the finale, Meditations, which covers 182 sq-m.
‘By the end of the immersive experience that carries the audience along, totally involved in the stories, the audience feels as though they have undergone a baptism of the spirit, having been immersed in the dharma and the stories in the past,’ concluded Mr Wadsworth. ‘The power, brightness and visual clarity delivered by the HighLite Laser II projectors was essential to the overall effect created. It is both an incredible visual experience and a beautiful visual display.’