D-Mines goes on a trip with Claude Monet

The work and creativity of one of the best known and most important Impressionist painters, Claude Monet, will draw all elements of art lovers into a radical new gallery concept presented in a temporary venue erected at the Xiqu Center in Hong Kong in the West Kowloon district.

It is thanks to a certain “imagination” and a teamwork between international video mapping, immersive experience and digital art creation studio, Dirty Monitor and ChillHoYeah Hong Kong.

This is the first large-scale project from D-Mines, the brand new creative content production management division of Dirty Monitor led by Benjamin Bauwens, who previously worked at ArKaos and as a video specialist for the giants. of the PRG rental. He enthused: “It’s a hugely exciting idea that will revolutionize the way art can be enjoyed – not just by traditional art lovers, but by new, different and diverse audiences who won’t necessarily think to visit a traditional art gallery”.

Traveling with Claude Monet takes elements from 200 of the painter’s ephemeral and multi-layered masterpieces. Many were painted during his extensive travels to France, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and more. Others included a selection painted in his famous garden at Giverny which was full of perspectives, textures and colors and a stunning lily pond.

These elements are digitally blended into a large 360 ​​degree digital canvas in a projected show that lasts 36 minutes. It is accompanied by a specially composed soundtrack, commissioned by Dirty Monitor and composed, produced and performed by the Echo Collective.

The narrative of the show is guided by a voice-over that follows tracks and thoughts through Monet’s letters and an interview he did during his travels, revealing inspirations gathered during these various travels.

It delves into his ever-changing states of mind and moods during these travels, explaining some of his feelings and emotions related to everyday life, his thoughts, experiences and interactions with his wife, home and garden. and elements related to nature such as water lilies in particular.

The audience stands in the middle of the gallery space and absorbs the sound and visual moods – moody snapshots that can trigger any number of slightly abstract but relatable moments in Monet’s life. Glimpses that can be interpreted in myriad ways depending on who engages with the work, as the audience is engrossed in their travels, sharing their quest for color, reflections of light and water.

Audrey Ballez, responsible for the creation of Dirty Monitor for En Voyage avec Claude Monet, explains: “Monet’s life was made up of ups and downs, with a quest for identity and a need for recognition of his art, but also for marriage. , birth, death and remarriage. His life is therefore a mine of interesting material to explore to put emotion at the heart of the immersive show!

The screen is 5.7m high and 94m long, arranged in a large rectangular format. The visor material is a special SB Blackout PVC obtained after extensive research and testing with fabric specialist Showtex. It is stretched on custom frames also supplied by Showtex.

Projections are made using 14 Panasonic PT-RCQ10 machines that support uncompressed 4K signal input via the HDMI or DIGITAL LINK terminals, streamlining 4K playback, eliminating the need for any re-encoding.

These are all installed on a central beam in the roof of the room for optimal positioning.

The projectors were chosen for their brightness and the special Smooth Pixel Drive technology – “pixel wobbling” – which, combined with the reading of the Ultra HD signal, creates very detailed images that exceed the resolution of the projector panel.

This feature makes it ideal for applications like this, with 4K sources demanding exceptionally sharp and detailed on-screen reproduction.

However, the real magic is in the content.

First, the creative team produced a storyboard retracing Monet’s youth from the age of 15, using paintings very representative of his studies but also of his misfortunes, the antithesis of his moments of success.

When selecting the works, they were guided by his “journey”, hence the title En Voyage avec Claude Monet.

A canvas of paintings was made from these works, then animated with great finesse, taking care to mimic Monet’s own research and understanding of the behavior of light and movement to maintain the integrity and magic of his works.

The Dirty Monitor team has set the task of respecting and transmitting what he has spent his whole life studying – the light, the movements, the mists, the atmosphere of each image, the seasons, the changes during of the day and the year – at the heart of this bold news. interpretation, and it is the treatment à la Monet of elements like the sky, the sea and the water, the smoke, etc. which makes this show unique.

Technically, the goal was to create an immersive mapped spectacle that would delicately merge the paintings into a single landscape that you could experience if you were next to Claude Monet!

To support projections across the entire gallery floor, six of Robe’s ProMotion digital lyre effects and video projectors were selected for the content and images in space, a first for an installation immersive like this. ProMotion’s in-house media server is used to store and play this bespoke material, resulting in a neat, streamlined and self-contained solution, Ben explains.

A 7:1 surround sound installation was installed by locally based Shalom AV Technology.

Before entering the main screening area, people pass through an information room where they can read printed staging facts about Monet and his travels, and at the end there is another area where guests can take an intense 10-minute VR journey with the artist, who uses separate but related content also created by Dirty Monitor.

The main technical challenge was to render the images in the highest quality detail needed to bring the large-scale projections to life.

However, undoubtedly the most galvanizing creative task was being given the responsibility of portraying the leader of the Impressionists and one of the most celebrated artists of all time.

Audrey notes, “Throughout Monet’s life and travels he was accompanied by his loved ones, so wives, family and friends are all part of his work, and that was the basis of our main narrative theme for this show. immersive.

“Visually, the adjustment is limitless. It’s like facing the panoramic view that Monet himself saw while painting these landscapes!

“We decided to set up a voice-over based on Monet’s letters, so when visitors discover this show, they are in the life of Claude Monet. It’s like standing next to him while he paints and talks to you about his life so that the individual becomes his accomplice in life!

“The hope is that after visiting the immersive experience, people will want to learn more about this incredible painter and character.”

Hong Kong is the world premiere of this idea, after which En Voyage avec Claude Monet will move on to other destinations in Southeast Asia, the United States and around the world.

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