India's first permanent full moving image son et lumière - ISHQ-e-DILLI - The Love of Delhi, installed at Purana Quila, a breathtaking 16th century fort founded by Mughal Emperor Humayun in 1533 - was officially opened by India's Vice President, Shri M Hamid Ansari.
Ross Ashton's UK-based The Projection Studio were technical, design and installation consultants for the projection hardware and control elements, and for the creation of the project's show material. Ashton collaborated closely with ISHQ-e-DILLI's creative director and initiator Himanshu Sabharwal of Delhi-based Two's A Film Company.
Sabharwal wanted this son et lumière and new visitor attraction to be groundbreaking and completely different to anything seen before in India. He also wanted to utilise the latest technology in creating a unique visual spectacle.
Ashton specified the first Christie 20K video projectors used in India for a son et lumière application, which are controlled by a Watchout system.
The three projectors are housed in special hides and create an image 50 metres wide by 20 metres tall on the building. A major technical challenge was dealing with the multiple depths of field involved in using the Fort as a projection surface, and making the content fit appropriately.
"I specified the Christies because I know from experience that they are bright and rugged enough to deal with the tough environment, operating conditions and the schedule of nightly shows," says Ashton. As far as he is aware, these are the first Christie 20Ks supplied to the Indian market. The Watchout system was also chosen for its reliability and familiarity to the technicians who are maintaining the installation day-to-day.
The 40-minute show was commissioned by the India Tourism Development Corporation, a division of the Government of India.
It unfolds an intricate web of stories from the time of the Pandavas to post independence India bringing to life a narrative relating the history of Deli.
Ashton has produced temporary projection artworks in India before. It's one of his favourite countries and he appreciates the colour, richness and diversity of life and work there. He comments that it was "Fantastic" to work in India again, particularly on an ambitious, high profile project like ISHQ-e-DILLI in one of the most important cities in the world. "It's always good to be involved with creating something new and special, particularly when it involves a historically significant building".
The site is also perceived to be that of the mythological city of Indraprastha, cited in the great epic Mahabharata, and it has been occupied since 800 BC. The Humayun Gate at the south of the Fort makes a stunning backdrop as the story unfolds - recounting the history, culture and heritage of the 10 cities of Delhi with its phoenix like character.
The show is already proving to be a major success with the public - and it's hoped it will become a 'must-see' experience for anyone visiting Delhi.
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