A child touches one of the mannequins at the exhibit. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
"The Rising Men," an interactive art installation, is on display in Beijing and will run through May 12. It has been carefully adapted for Chinese audiences as part of the ongoing Croisements Festival.
The figures which make up the installation are actually phosphorescent mannequins, who become more animated with colors and sound, while people walk by or stop to make contact with them.
The mannequins entice those walking by and invite them into a dialogue. They then tell their stories in Chinese, talking about the wonders of life and the environment they occupy.
The audience is not only a spectator but actually a participant as everyone can touch, speak, answer, play along, and engage in a dialogue with these luminous figures which often have funny and unexpected things to say.
The vocals consist mainly of common words used in everyday life focusing on themes such as childhood, happiness, time and the city to reflect unique aspects of Chinese culture, according to Pierre Amoudruz, one of the installation's designers.
The art installation was exhibited for the first time at the Festival of Lights in Lyon, France in 2009. On December 8 of each year, the Festival of Lights illuminates many parts of the city throughout the entire night.
For its China debut, part of the vocal recordings from the 16 mannequins was specifically recorded in Chinese during a residency organized in advance preparation for the show.
The exhibit is also scheduled to light up other Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Wuhai and Guangzhou.