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Using light art to express Chinese culture on the world stage


The organizers of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony staged a stunning digital show earlier this year that stunned the world both with its scale and the way it represented traditional Chinese culture.

The show also featured Visual Art Director Wang Zhiou and his team. “It’s not easy for a young team like ours to complete a world-class project like this.

“And I was responsible for every step from initial planning to final visual effects. We’ve done it, I think after the opening, and I’m very proud to say that we are the best at the Beijing Winter Olympics ceremonies.”

Working alongside Wang on the project was Zhang Yiming, who became world-famous for directing the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Games.

Wang said he took every opportunity to learn from the experience. “I was very lucky to work with director Zhang Yimou, who I consider to be like a teacher to me. We were focused on one theme.”

As we learn more about Wang’s career, his journey seems to have a special connection to the Olympic movement, dating back to when China’s capital was bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics. “I thought that if Beijing won the bid, I would go to college,” Wang said.

Beijing actually won the right to host the 2008 Olympics, and Wang actually traveled to the Chinese capital and chose multimedia arts as his college major.

Wang Zhiou, a multimedia artist.  /CGTN

Wang Zhiou, a multimedia artist. /CGTN

Wang Zhiou, a multimedia artist. /CGTN

Just a few years after hosting the 2008 Olympics, the Chinese capital was selected to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, making it the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

Wang was given the platform to link to the Beijing Olympics at the closing ceremony of the previous Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in 2018.

“Ever since I was a child, one of my dreams has been to somehow introduce Chinese culture to the world. The eight-minute show showcases iconic Chinese patterns such as dragons, peacocks and Chinese knots. Aimed to introduce them, they were flying on the ground, like the way a painter moves a brush in a Chinese painting.The performance was well received by audiences around the world.

Wang calls this a good start. And a good start is half the battle. This was especially true of Wang and his team.

He currently develops a team of over 120 people in his studio. “I hope they are doing what they really want to do every time I communicate with them.”

Talking about his current plans, Mr. Wang is very proud to introduce his latest project, the Long March Digital Art Museum in Guizhou Province. “This is about the entire journey of the Red Army’s Long March. This tour allows visitors to experience the story of the war as if it were happening now. It immerses you in that era.At the moment, there is no such theater for telling Chinese stories.”

Wang presenting his multimedia project

Wang introduces his multimedia project “Yuan”. /CGTNPhotography

Wang introduces his multimedia project “Yuan”. /CGTNPhotography

In addition to these large-scale national projects, Wang’s love for traditional Chinese culture is also very evident in his personal works, such as those presented at the temple.

“Chiju Temple has a history of more than 200 years,” Wang said. “I hope art can help visitors feel more in such ancient oriental spaces. Through the language of light and shadow, people can travel back in time a hundred years ago.”

The temple was closed many years ago. With the art of light and shadow, the king seeks to restore the vitality of its architecture. “Visitors may feel the raindrops falling from the eaves.

After dark, a magical chemical reaction takes place between the ancient temple and the king’s work of art.

The red wall becomes his canvas.

“China is now catching up in terms of the world’s most advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence. Using light and shadow brushes, you can create artistic works of cities, mountains, stars, and seas.”