King Kong Coming To The Bund!

Taking you behind the lens and sharing some making of moments from our latest shoot! The island6 art collective is currently working on a massive artwork, standing at 6’3 feet and weighing 130 pounds! Requiring the collaborative effort of at least five artists to help in the filming, editing, research, compositing and interface/hardware building.

The photograph portrays the iconic skyline of Pudong from the historical district of The Bund. It was taken by the collective using a Linhof Technorama professional 6×17 panoramic camera on Acros100 B&W film using a Schneider Apo-Symmar lens. It was then digitized using our own Hassselblad X1 drum-scanner to create a 1.4gb file (that’s 116 iPhone photos joined together) and printed on archival paper. Then it will be mounted on Dibond under UV Perspex using Diasec techniques and will be surrounded by a stainless-steel frame. 

The animation for this piece was inspired by King Kong films, specifically the iconic Empire State scene at the end.  

For the costumes the team spent hours doing copious amounts of research. We were inspired by the elegant and sophisticated dresses depicted in many of the films, for example in the first King Kong (1933) film famous costume designer Natalie Visart created the most gorgeous gown for actress Vina Fay Wray! The art collective opted for a red sparkly dress and heels, diamond necklace, and a 1930s style hairstyle. We’re sure the red dress will look amazing in LED lights! 

The artists’ technicians built a chroma-key stage with an 8-feet-tall replica of the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower. The idea was to have King Kong standing on the pearl tower and hanging off the antenna. We did two separate shoots to be able to shrink the woman during the editing to appear on the palm of King Kong’s hand. The resultant video is edited and rendered into an animation and then converted into a bitmap of ON/OFF switches to control the LED matrix. Each visual element was hand-animated by controlling the color output of over 25,000 individual LED pixels. The completed piece is a mix of traditional and modern motifs, a black and white image lit up by bright LED pixels.  

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