Mission accomplished for Lightemotion, the Montreal-based firm that created the National Museum of Singapore’s lighting design. This project, which required overall expertise in the fields of architectural, museum and theatrical lighting and included multimedia techniques, entailed a delicate technical and conceptual exercise for François Roupinian and his team. A genuine tour de force, the project was carried out in close cooperation with GSM Design – a branch of GSM, a Canadian firm specializing in exhibition design and multimedia presentations.
The National Museum of Singapore, renovated and expanded, is now the largest museum in the Malayan peninsula. Its main mission being the interpretation of the country’s history, the museum offers visitors a dual track: on one, the visitor can review the country’s official record and, on the other, get to know the more intimate story of its inhabitants. In short, the museum presents a large historical fresco told by means of a series of theatrical settings that recreate various periods.
To achieve a lighting environment more dynamic than usually found in the traditional museum, the Lightemotion team worked on three distinct levels: 1) the general lighting atmosphere, 2) the display window lighting and, 3) the auxiliary lighting, at times integrated with the architecture, at times with the exhibition scenes. In order to solve the problems related to these various creative aspects, Lightemotion worked with products of international origin, selected for their reliability and their availability in Asia.
For the 120 display windows, each conceived as a small independent theatre, the lighting artists used optical fibre and lighting equipment identical to that used in theatres, but in miniature versions. While maintaining minimum heat and lux-release standards (a maximum of 50 lux in most zones), Lightemotion succeeded in giving interesting textures to the light thanks to various filters and dimmers. The result is a vibrant exhibit that can be experienced as a deeply absorbing story. The dynamic looped variations and the gradation of each lighting source are controlled by computer, thereby enabling Lightemotion to create a luminous and stimulating environment without affecting the priceless artifacts, some of them more than 1000 years old.
Via collaborations with GSM Design, Lightemotion has been active in Singapore for over three years, designing lighting environments for several projects, including the Asian Civilizations Museum, inaugurated in 2006, and the Army Museum, which will open its door by the end of 2007.
Lightemotion, around the word at lightning speed
Having developed a heightened expertise in architectural lighting in the province of Quebec, Canada, Lightemotion has also made its mark in other fields such as the performing arts, multimedia and museum lighting. Active and recognized in all these domains, Lightemotion quickly won over international markets, conceiving and carrying out the visual dimension of many projects abroad.
François Roupinian and his team have worked on several museum lighting projects, such as those of the Historica Museum of Strasboug, the City Museum in Washington, D.C, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles and the Naturalis Museum in Leiden, the Netherlands. Lightemotion also created the lighting for several permanent exhibitions in Canada and the United States, as well as Europe and Asia.
Lightemotion’s excellent reputation in the fields of arts and performance is well established. The firm has worked with several internationally acclaimed creators, among them scenographer and multimedia artist Michel Lemieux, the visual creator Éric Villeneuve (Cavalia, Légendes fantastiques, the Olympic Games closing ceremony in Turin) and the choreographer-scenographer Pierre-Paul Savoy from PPS Danse.
Lighting Design: Lightemotion