A SPECIAL THANK YOU
This project would not have happened without the great magnitude of timely help we had received leading up to the festival. Special Thanks to our pre-assembly helpers: Jeffrey Blewett, Ben Li, Aditi Bhalla, Adrian Thai, Albert Truong, David Barko, Gursimrat Bawa, Eden Manouk for working with us to assembly lighting units at our warehouse. We thank the amazing Thuy Au and Dai Nguyen for waking up at 4am to delivery OASIS components to site.
A big thank you also to our sponsors Taylor from ETA Auatralia; Michael from Events Engineering, Darko from G&M Cosmetics, William from William Wei Films and Lee from Sydney PA Hire for their undying support, and to our Guangzhou suppliers Frank Yang from RDT & David Lee from KB Extrusions for working tirelessly to ensure product functionality & quality.
Last but not least, we thank Bloodline Productions, AGB Events, Destination NSW and The Royal Botanic Garden Trust for the amazing care, assistance, opportunity and permission to use their site, bringing OASIS to life to such a large audience.
PROJECT CORE TEAM
James Feng Design + MAGK Partners
Creative Director, Light & Sound Design: James Feng
Technical Manager + Project Delivery: Minh Au
Project Manager + Engineering Consultant: Gunjit Kaur
Electrical Consultant: Ajaykumar Daya
Lighting Control Systems Consultant & Sponsor: Taylor Chadwick
Photography, Videography & Social Media Outreach: William Wei
Concept EOI Design + Graphics: Karen Lin
OASIS: Do you Remember?
Oasis pays homage to the memory of the ‘forgotten’ Australian children who grew up in care; in orphanages, children’s homes, foster care and institutions.
This beautiful and poignant installation creates a sea of lights that dance on and around water. It is positioned in a corner of the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney dedicated to the memory of “lonely, frightened, lost and abused children who never knew the joy of a loving family”.
Reminiscent of fields of flowers or fireflies by a meadow, Oasis is composed of many individually lit fragments, which combine to form a spellbinding twenty-minute looped theatrical shimmer of magic, mystery and empowerment.
The Artists have drawn inspiration from the bioluminescent wonders of the natural world to compose an intimate dialogue between the ephemeral qualities of light and the natural movement of water.
The floating lights bob and sway with the elements but always return to their upright position, a paradox of fragility and resilience. From afar, the lights beckon to all who pass by – up close the lights lead the viewer to a place of deep reflection.
A HOMAGE TO 'FORGOTTEN' AUSTRALIANS
OASIS is a collection of stories, a collection of memories, a collection of voices, a collection of feelings, told through the lens of childhood. In particular, the paradox of fragility and resilience. OASIS explores the primal conditions of a disrupted childhood: how children are vulnerable to neglect, loneliness, abuse, but are also resilient to these negative forces through journeys to imagined worlds: adventures, challenges, and exploration into the unknown. The resilience of a child’s mind is the critical point at which the installation shines through. Growth is a process of overcoming barriers.
TWIN PONDS, RBG
OASIS is a site-specific installation, crafted from day one of conceptualisation in late 2017 specifically for the Twin Ponds, a body of water that sits on a part of the Gardens dedicated to ‘forgotten’ Australians living in care. The scale of the piece gives the installation drastically different readings as viewers move through the 50m span of the pond as ground levels change throughout. The varying heights of the 600 light units are also crafted to relate to the height of the viewers to create a sense of immersion that is gentle and washes calmly below the level of the waist. The level of the pond is then accentuated and duplicated in reflection, while allowing its light to spill onto the surrounding vegetation of the OASIS.
The programming of OASIS is a twenty-minute theatrical piece synced to music, dealing with the issues of growing up, journeys to imagined lands and the combating of fear and negativity. The contrast in the musicality of the piece lies in mystery, fear with empowerment and resilience. Sections of percussive tracks are glued together with vintage voiceover quotes, bringing together past, present and future, as sounds from separate eras are brought together and recontextualised for OASIS and what it stands for.
Programs: MADRIX | Adobe Audition | Time Lord
The paradox of fragility and resilience is also explored in the very material makeup of the piece. High-strength, High-flexibility, custom moulded ABS plastic extrusions was the result of extensive testing to give an ultra-thin aesthetic while holding up against rain-wind and animal contact, the flexibility of the material allows the top heavy weight of the ball lights to gently sway in the wind and collective introduce movement to the piece. Down on the water level, individually sand filled amber glass bottles act as ballasts for these light units, and serves as very elegant contact nodes into the water surface, blending into the silty colour of the Twin Ponds.
OASIS was designed to offer viewers their own readings into the piece, the densities of lights and the way it is programmed is designed to appeal to all ages, as it is both reminiscent and futuristic. Pointillism becomes an effective strategy to spark imagination to viewers who may not be aware of the context of the piece. Motifs of waves and turbulence is an overarching visual process to give the piece a continuity and congruence.
oasis: making of
An extensive look into the process of design, material sourcing, import, Fabrication & Programming of OASIS.