Light and Sound

Updated: 12 Sep 2012

A young designer aims to highlight George Town’s heritage buildings through an entertaining artistic endeavour, writes Su Aziz.

This September 16, on Malaysia Day, Penang’s Town Hall will transform into a canvas for a different sort of art. The art, involving the cutting edge designs of video mapping projection (VPM) designers, Suzy and Fairuz Sulaiman, will project onto the entire frontal façade of the building.

Having done the first one on Suffolk House a year ago, both Suzy and Fairuz’s team will be repeating their technologically driven magical spectacle this year with a Hari Raya theme. This year’s VPM show differs from last year in that it will incorporate a live boria performance and sketch.

Aptly called ‘Raya Light and Sound Show’, their VPM of the songket inspired pixels and grid designs will not only mark the final days of the Muslim’s Syawal month but also the day Malaya joined Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore to form Malaysia almost five decades ago.

Suzy, although based in Kuala Lumpur, has been in and out of Penang for seven years now, consulting and working with NGOs including Arts Ed here in George Town. For her team, which includes her brother Fairuz, their VPM experience started within the Kuala Lumpur clubbing and indie music scene more than five years ago.

It was only in the last couple of years that Suzy took the helm and went on to do VPM onto Penang’s heritage buildings, the first ever being Suffolk House. It’s unquestionably a modern way of highlighting the beauty and existence of heritage buildings. ‘I think it’s great for George Town since it has a vast collection of heritage buildings that we can highlight to raise public awareness on them,’ Suzy adds, hoping to create appreciation among Penangites towards these buildings and of the town’s history.

As the manager of this creative production, Suzy cobbles together a myriad of skills like architecture, animation and 3D modelling as well as talents including carpenters, DJs and performers. As she says, ‘It’s like a theatre production, but one that is visually based and the set is smacked onto the building’s façade. That’s when the performers have to use the building’s architectural features as their stage and play with that.’

As you spread your mat on Padang Kota Lama field to enjoy the show, Suzy says the main plus point to remember with this choice of art form is this: Because it’s only projected on the surface, the parts of the building remain undisturbed, keeping everything – including the stories these walls carry – intact for generations to come.

Raya Light and Sound Show happens Sep 16, 8:15pm. For more info, see listing.

Tags: Features