Over 3,500 people visited Stanley Park in early April for the fourth annual Sakura Illuminations, an illumination event conceived and envisioned by Hfour. An ambient immersive experience was created by illuminating the blooming canopy with video projections, lanterns and washes of colour.
This year the team finally created the illumination which had been envisioned from the start. The site in Stanley park had initially been explored by Stuart Ward in 2012, with the intent of creating a tunnel of light as well as large projections on the nearby trees. The initial site for 2016 was planned to be Queen Elizabeth Park, a more centrally located park in Vancouver, but the weather and bloom didn’t line up for the exhibition to happen as intended, so the event was moved to Stanley Park, in a grove of trees behind the Vancouver Aquarium, near the Japanese War Memorial lantern.
As in previous years, people began to gather before dark, to enjoy picnics and tea before the start of the illuminations. It was still light when the area was full, and messages of full buses started to arrive. The event had originally anticipated between five hundred and one thousand people, yet over 3500 people visited over the course of the evening. As it grew dark, the lights came on, delighting the crowd with multiple areas to explore, experience, and photograph. The hashtag #sakuraillumination and #stanleypark were flooded with hundreds of vibrant photos of the illuminated blossom canopy, and smiling selfies.
A new feature was added in 2016, a multisensory tea tasting which engaged smaller audiences by pairing tea with coloured light.
Hfour’s artists, Ben Z Cooper and Stuart Ward were featured on the CBC news for this creative experience. Read the article here.