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Shaoxing,  CN  

An Chang, A change

Exhibition: “An Chang,A Change 焕然·安昌” 光影艺术季 
Location: Zhejiang, China - Anchang Town,Keqiao District , Shaoxing
Installations:Sky & Dimensionality

At the beginning of the New Year 2023, YAANK LAB was invited by "An Chang, A change" lighting festival to bring "Sky" and "Dimensionality" to the ancient town of Anchang, Shaoxing, to create a new collision and fusion between contemporary lighting art and the classical Chinese aesthetics.

2023新年之初,YAANK LAB 受“An Chang, A change 焕然·安昌” 光影艺术季的邀请,将“青空”和“维度”带到了绍兴安昌古镇,使当代光影艺术与桨声灯影、灯火阑珊的中国古典美学产生新的碰撞与融合。

About An Chang

The town was named Anchang in 896 AD after King Qianmu of Wuyue, who was ordered by the Tang imperial court to settle the Dongchang Rebellion. The ancient town of Anchang has a 1,747-metre-long old street. The old street is built along the river, with residential houses to the south of the river and a commercial market to the north.


The ancient street was built in the Ming Dynasty during the Chenghua and Hongzhi years. The street was built from the Gaoqiao Bridge in the east to the Qingdun Bridge in the west, along the river, the street and river are all paved with local Shaoxing stone slabs. Along the river are promenades with roofs, shops and workshops with various traditional features, a patchwork of tilting cottages, quaint houses and deep alleyways. The people living here retain a more traditional way of life.


This time, more than ten globally artists  stayed in Anchang, using the concept of "flavor, fireworks and light years" and the inspiration of "the blue water running through the street and millions of dwellings, the rainbow crossing the river and seventeen bridges" as inspiration, using new media materials and technology innovation to create the Lighten up Anchang" . The art exhibition will light up both sides of the river and create a new look of the town of "Anchang at night" with the posture of light and shadow.



Street River · Sky

Throughout the history, the natural environment has determined the state of culture. The rivers and waterways of the Jiangnan region were so densely populated that people chose water to live in, and water naturally formed a close relationship with people. "The rich and colorful water culture had a profound influence on the clothing, food, housing and transport of the ancestors of Jiangnan.


The Sky installation is a water-based light art installation placed on the water of the river between Yang Ming Bridge and Anchang Bridge. Drawing on the traditional Chinese art of ink painting, the installation uses artistic techniques to amplify the aesthetics of Anchang's 'water'. By focusing the visitor's gaze on the water, the surrounding scenery becomes a painting. Once painted, everything in front of you is tainted with 'ink charm', and the reflections on the water portray a wonderful mood between the architecture, humanity and light installations of the ancient town.


"The blue water runs through the street of ten million dwellings, the rainbow crosses the river with seventeen bridges", the shape of the 1/2 circle of the ‘sky’ and the bridge holes are correspondingly interesting, blending into the environment. It is a reflection of the water, forming a 'perfection'.


Gorgeous changing colors with the change of time and the lights of the ancient town style has produced a new collision and integration. It shows the unique cultural characteristics of the ancient town of Anchang in Shaoxing, which is full of the fire and smoke of the Jiangnan water village.


Theatres · Dimensionality

Shaoxing's social theatre is a well-known folk event. The Shaoxing opera is a well-known folklore activity in Shaoxing, and Mr Lu Xun, the famous Shaoxing writer, wrote many scenes about it.
"The most striking thing was a stage standing in the open space outside the Zhuang on the river, blurred in the distant moonlit night, almost indistinguishable from space, where I suspected that the fairyland I had seen on paintings had appeared. At that moment the boats went faster, and in a short time the characters appeared on the stage, moving in red and green, and near the stage the river looked black with the canopies of the people watching the play." ——The fragment is taken from Lu Xun's 'The Social Theatre'..


The word "she" in Shaoxing opera originally referred to the god of the land. In ancient times, the two days of worshipping the god of the land in spring and autumn were called she days (spring she and autumn she), usually after spring and autumn, and in the Tang and Song dynasties, ‘She’ Day became a grand festival for the people, killing pigs and slaughtering sheep, making wine and spoons, and bustling with activity. In the Tang and Song dynasties, the festival became a big event, with the killing of pigs and sheep, the making of wine and soup, and a lot of activity.


The dimensionality installation has been installed on the stage next to the  Hall, representing the twenty-four solar terms and echoing the social theatre stage, using contemporary light and shadow art to express the beautiful vision of rewarding the gods and praying for blessings.


When the Dimensionality is "show" on the stage, visitors are drawn to the stage and stop to watch as the "light" changes, diffuses, contracts and changes colour through the rotating blades...
Just like the opening of the social opera, the first hearing was attracted by the sound of babbling, when carefully listened to find the lyrical and elegant tunes. The actors on the stage are dressed in exquisite costumes, with dynamic expressions and beautiful singing voice, portraying a delicate and vivid character, very Jiangnan spirit, most likely to make the audience enchanted.


The Dimensionality combines the original style of social theatre with contemporary light and shadow art, bringing together the life, ideas and beliefs of the people, returning to the people and preserving the precious historical and cultural atmosphere of folklore.

戏台·维度将原始社戏风貌和当代光影艺术有机结合,把老百姓的生活、观念、信仰紧密结合在一起,回归民众,保留民间弥足珍贵的历史文化气息 。

When contemporary light and shadow art collide and merge with classical Chinese aesthetics, Anchang Ancient Town is fading away and regaining its vitality.
Visitors come here not only for sightseeing, but also to experience the revival of regional culture, the ancient town has both the authentic human fireworks and the ideal dream of the future.