Light Projection Ceremony

A public art installation by Richard Byers collaborating with local musicians artists and citizens with planning by Noriko Shindo.

Light Projection Ceremony was a large outdoor public installation, entirely powered by solar energy on a small island in Ishinomaki city. Sound responsive light projections were mapped onto the walls both inside and out of a historic timber church building damaged by the tsunami of March 2011. The church building originally built in 1880 and restored in the 1970′s was damaged by the 6m tsunami that struck the small island in the Kitakami River which flows through the city.

The installation opened 12th April 2012, with a performance by 9 musicians from Tokyo and Ishinomaki, led by Ishinomaki musician and sound artist Yukihiko Yotsukura. A coincidence also that Yotsukura’s father had helped restore the church in the 1970′s, his father’s company making the roof tiles for the restoration project. And now a new restoration project is underway to restore the damaged building, again with the hard work of the Yotsukura family.

Following the opening performance, each night for 1 month the installation was open to the public to shout, clap, sing and play music and watch the building light up to each sound. There was local Taiko drummers and dancers from Kyoto, parents and small children from nearby prefectures, elderly church choirs, and an expat Australian playing aussie songs on guitar. Two other official performances closed the installation, piano and soprano inside the foyer of the damaged church, and an experimental performance by local band Orb, who literally played the inside the the church as an instrument, bring the building to life with sound and light.

I wish to acknowledge the sponsors Casio and Koyou Lease who assisted the project with donated LED projectors and a 3KW solar energy system installed onsite for the duration of the project. Also the work of Noriko Shindo planning the event, with countless meetings with the local council in order to be approved to run the event.

The project could not have been possible without the generous support of the Yotsukura family, the 7 musicians who travelled from Tokyo for the 1 night opening performance, which occured in heavy rain and very cold weather, to Yukihiko Yotsukura for his leadership regarding the music, his knowledge of Ishinomaki history and culture and his great friendship. And I wish the especially thank the help of Ishinomaki citizen Sasaki san who tirelessly helped almost every evening setting up and packing down the installation.