LAMPU: Putrajaya in the Spotlight

Putrajaya was set alight on Friday, 30th of October 2015, marking the beginning of Perbadanan Putrajaya’s third annual celebration of illumination: Light and Motion Putrajaya (LAMPU). The surrounding area and streets of the Istana Kehakiman (Palace of Justice) in Dataran Putrajaya, Presint 3, were cleared to make way for the grand light show, an event set to continue for three consecutive nights until the 1st of November.

Since its debut in 2013, LAMPU has earned over 500,000 attendances, an award for “Largest Light and Motion Festival” in the Malaysia Book of Records, and its place in the international light art and technology community. This year, Perbadanan Putrajaya (PPj), member of the Lighting Urban Community International Association (LUCI), aimed for LAMPU to be even brighter than before.

The event was set to begin at 7.30 PM and the crowd was already settling in front of Istana Kehakiman before that time. Despite the evening drizzle that delayed the event’s start, attendees stood under umbrellas with anticipation, though some took shelter in the Food Courtyard next to the Palace of Justice.

Attendees await the beginning of the event.

Attendees await the beginning of the event.

At 8.00 PM, the rain finally cleared and the launching ceremony began. The ceremony started off with a performance by a marching band donning glowing uniforms and instruments. People quickly surrounded the fences around the band to catch a glimpse of the colourful lights and music, which was followed by a speech by the Federal Territories Minister, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor. In his speech, the Minister expressed his hopes that LAMPU may serve as a platform for the lighting technologies in Malaysia to thrive and propel Malaysia forward in environmentally friendly technologies in the world.

A parade of glowing bicycles waited for the speech to conclude. The Bicycle Light Show, in conjunction with the PPJ Cycling Team, showcased the latest lighting technology in bicycles to promote safety (and style) in night cycling. Soon, the lit bicycles glided across the front of the Palace of Justice, concluding the opening ceremony.

Projection Mapping, the highlight event of LAMPU, started the night’s main light shows off with a grand display of light and motion upon the facades of the Palace of Justice and the entrance to the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque. The building was set into motion when elaborate designs traced its contours, accompanied by matching music and sound effects.

This colourful metamorphosis saw the Palace of Justice’s pillars broken down and then reconstructed in a matter of minutes, its transformations ranging from oriental to futuristic, and even to a candy castle. These lifelike textures were achieved solely by projection of light, using the latest technology and techniques in lighting to project 3D images realistic enough to keep viewers from diverting their gaze. The entire content of Projection Mapping lasted around 5-10 minutes, and the segment was kept on replay. It was designed for one-time viewing, thus visitors would have time to explore the rest of the light festival.

LAMPU 2015 featured many returns of highly anticipated attractions from the previous year. One of these was Decorative Garden Lighting, where natural beauty met modern illumination. Taking place on Kiblat Walk, visitors enjoyed the serenity of the garden in the night as it was lit up by glowing vines of colourful lights, entwining branches and highlighting bushes.

Persiaran Perdana Boulevard was the venue of another attraction known as the Decorative Arch, also a returning act from 2014. Participants wandered under a gigantic archway where strands of colourful lights hung above their heads, forming intricate patterns and designs. Energy-saving lights were used to increase environmental awareness and promote innovative lighting technologies, these efforts being a part of LAMPU’s contribution towards the aims of LUCI Association.

The roads in the boulevard and Perbadanan Putrajaya Complex were illuminated by Free Standing Light Structures, neatly spread along the walkway. These structures and sculptures expressed a variety of designs from traditional to minimalist to abstract. Colours would shift and change as passers-by walk down the alley and posed for pictures. Featured among these were the winners of the 3R Light Structure Competition, a contest open to the community and university students to showcase their creativity and technical expertise, while also preserving the ecosystem by using environmentally friendly materials.

Attendees take selfies while bathed in multi-coloured light.

Attendees take selfies while bathed in multi-coloured light.

The roads were also occupied by a Tron Dance Performance. Team E.L Malaysia, a Malaysia-based LED dance group, enticed the crowd, performing to energetic electronic tracks in neon-trailed Tron suits (also called Michael Jackson suits). Lucky participants stood a chance to experience dancing – and taking pictures – in neon. Meanwhile, on the same road, neon bicycles, cars, and trishaws carefully navigated through the crowd along the road. The electric Renault Zoe – courtesy of COMOS Cars – along with the glowing Eco Trishaw Rides were amongst them, further promoting LAMPU’s cause for a more environmentally friendly future.

In contrast to the bright electric lights, another road glowed orange from traditional light – fire. Fire dancers heated up the atmosphere, performing dramatic feats such as fire breathing and flame juggling. After the show, visitors could take pictures up close and personal with the blazing performers.

 

Fire dancers wow the crowd.

A fire dancer wows the crowd.

 

Another traditional performance presented by LAMPU was Wayang Kulit (Shadow Play). Using traditional lighting and musical instruments, Wayang Kulit entertained young and old viewers alike by telling tales through shadow puppetry. The puppet master acted behind the screen where he narrated the story of the dancing silhouettes of the puppets.

 

Wayang Kulit performance.

Wayang Kulit performance.

LAMPU also provided opportunities for competition on multiple platforms. One of these was the photography contest, which recorded over 1,800 entries last year. The competition was open to the public and free of charge. Participants could submit their pictures in the DSLR category or the Smartphone/Instagram category, with grand prizes of RM4000 and RM1,000 respectively in each category. The high-end illumination technology and techniques in LAMPU provided a unique environment for photographers to work on.

The Car Light Show was another competition held by LAMPU this year in conjunction with KW Motorsport Autoshow. Automotive enthusiasts showed off their most wicked and dazzling rides and were judged based on aesthetics, specifications, and brightness. The 3 nights of LAMPU featured the entries of Perodua, Proton and free categories respectively, with the grand prize of RM500 and a trophy each.

LAMPU aimed to exhibit the latest in high-end lighting techniques and technology while promoting environmentally friendly practices. Perbadanan Putrajaya viewed this festival as an introduction to the Putrajaya Master Lighting Plan and a stepping stone to Putrajaya’s rise to the international centre of lighting technology.

 

By Yehezkiel Faoma

I have two sides; one which is overly-passionate and far too inclined to start debates, and the other that just wants to curl up with a book forever. Writing is and will always be my true love.

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