The trees have faces

SAY HI: Mr Clement Briend will be projecting photos he took in Cambodia and at the Museum of Asian Art in France at the Singapore Night Festival next month.

Two million pixels is what a normal video projector has. But that's not enough for French artist-photographer Clement Briend, 32, whose artwork involves projecting images of "divine figures" on trees.

To ensure that the images are clear enough to give the illusion of looming deities, Mr Briend used slide films that can fit 30 million pixels.

And because normal projectors cannot project such high-definition images, he put together his own mobile projector that is able to make the images come alive.

Mr Briend's photographic light art installation, Divine Trees, will be shown for the first time here at the Singapore Night Festival 2014 next month. (See report below)

He came up with the idea when he wanted to create a link between the project and screen.

As a photographer, he worked with fixed projection and was looking for a combination that could give it life.

He said: "The screen must have its own meaning, dimensions, colour and volume. I tried projecting on many different surfaces - on me, on buildings and reflections on water before settling on trees."

Trees have movement to make the projections alive, said Mr Briend, referring to the swaying of branches in the wind.

For the installation, he will feature several images with their own carefully chosen trees. He said: "I will consider the shape and form of the tree. When I look at a tree, I imagine it to look like the face I want to project."

The images that he selected were taken by him during his travels to Cambodia, as well as at the Museum of Asian Art in France. Last night at a media preview, Mr Briend showed one part of his installation, which left the audience in awe.

The large projection looked 3D due to the natural shape of the tree's foliage. As the leaves rustled, it looked as if the figure's facial muscles were shifting.

Mr Briend said: "I hope people will discover for themselves the story behind the images after seeing my artwork."

The Singapore Night Festival returns in its seventh year with a “Bold and Beautiful” theme, and takes place on Aug 22, 23, 29 and 30, from 7pm to 2am.

The festival director and director of the National Museum of Singapore (NMS), Ms Angelita Teo, 42, said: “Singapore Night Festival 2014 promises to be louder, edgier and wilder, offering a dazzling and diverse experience for every festival-goer.

“(It) will embrace bold directions to create a beautiful, moving and multi-sensory experience for all our festival-goers.”

Featuring local and international artists, the show also includes highlights like William Close’s Earth Harp, which will transform the facade of the National Museum into the largest stringed instrument in Singapore. The festival will also bring back Night Lights, a myriad of light art installations.

Other features include Block Party at Armenian Street and the Festival Village at Cathay Green.


This article was first published on July 23, 2014.
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