Hfour worked with the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival to create a mobile evening event to celebrate the beauty of the cherry blossoms with special illumination, and bring communities closer together.
In Japan, during the sakura (cherry blossom) season, many people go to the park or shrine to participate in some evening revelry under the blossoms. Temporary food and drink stands appear, bringing with them the rest of the necessities for an enjoyable evening. People gather in the crisp spring air, enjoying the first signs that winter has ended and the pleasant spring season has once again arrived. Hfour wished to emulate the sensation of anticipation and excitement felt when the blossoms emerge in the form of visual art installation.
Using custom-made lanterns and led lighting in combination with high powered projected images, Hfour created unique experiences in nine locations around Vancouver. The installation followed the peak bloom of the various species of ornamental cherry trees around the city, starting in Queen Elizabeth Park with the white Akebono trees, and finishing at Kitsilano Beach park with the bright pink Kanzan trees.
“The cherry blossoms are a reminder that life is short and that we should seize the day. Each tree blooms fully for just a few short days, and as the blossoms start to fall, we are reminded that it will be another year before we can experience such beauty again. How many more times in our lives will we be able to have such an experience?”
The Sakura Illumination Tour not only surprised many neighbourhoods with its arrival, but also created a following for photographers and blossom enthusiasts, with some people following the tour to more than four sites. Many people who chanced upon the installations expressed gratitude that they had been unexpectedly rewarded for their decision to turn off their televisions and go for a walk. The experience, “create[d] an intangible memory of a time and place never to be duplicated.”
Special thank-you to the Linda Poole, Joseph Lin, Oliver, Carina, the photographers (especially Kevin Eng) who documented the experience, and Heritage Canada.