Electric Shadows of Wu

2014

"Electric Shadows of Wu" is an interactive shadow theater at DIAS, Vallensbæk train station outside Copenhagen.

At night and during the early hours of the morning, the installation will perform a version of the dystopian Soviet novel "We" ("Мы"), written in 1921 by Yevgeny Zamyatin. The movement of passengers waiting for the trains will directly control the lighting on the exhibited puppets – and thus their shadows cast in the room - and the accompanying textual quotes from the novel.
During the daytime, the installation will slowly replay the performance recorded the previous night and morning.

The title "Electric Shadows of Wu" is referring to the Chinese Emperor Han Wu Di (the fifth emperor of the Western Han Dynasty). Traditional Shadow Theater is often credited to Emperor Wu Di, who staged shadow-plays to meet the soul of his deceased concubine.
Cinema is still called 电 影 in Chinese, which literary translates into electric shadows.

Thanks to:

Ley Yang
Rasmus Vestergaard

Translation:

Ellen Mygind

References:

Fan Pen Li Chen: “Chinese Shadow Theater”
Zhang Zhen: “An Amorous History of the Silver Screen: Shanghai Cinema 1896-1937"

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