ANIMATED street projections with a soundtrack by Jah Wobble featuring Miami rapper MC Jin will bring an ancient Chinese myth to life to ring in the Year of the Rooster.
The lumiere event, telling the story of Jingwei and the Ocean, will mean Chinese New Year celebrations will go on for three days - from Friday 27 to Sunday January 29.
Lighting up buildings always goes down well, according to Liverpool City Council, and this time the Chinese Arch, the Black-E and the old Scandinavian Hotel will get the treatment for an hour each night. The 12 minute loop will be based on the story of an emperor’s daughter who, after perishing at sea, transformed into a bird and endeavoured to fill the ocean with twigs and stones to prevent anyone else from meeting the same fate.
The soundtrack to the show is a specially commissioned piece by Jah Wobble, ex bassist with Public Image Ltd, with members of the Pagoda Youth Orchestra performing on the track.
Mrs Wobble, AKA director of Pagoda Arts Zi Lan Liao, said: "The Pagoda Chinese Youth Orchestra is privileged to be working with Jah Wobble on this project. We are also delighted that MC Jin is taking part - he is a Miami-born rapper recognized as the first Asian-American rapper to be signed by a major record label. So many of our older members and ex-members are his fans, and we know he is an icon to Chinese youngsters across the world.
“I’m also proud of the fact that one of the members of our orchestra, Chi Chi who is 18, has composed the track for MC Jin to perform, so undoubtedly this show will be yet another unforgettable legacy for the youth orchestra."
Digital experts Illuminos are behind the lumiere creations, having previously worked in the city on projections which lit up Liverpool’s Central Library when it reopened in 2013.
Illuminos artist Rob Vale said: "It’s a beautiful story about determination, new beginnings and nurture.”
The show will run for an hour on Friday and Saturday nights from 7.30-8.30pm and on the Sunday from 5-6pm.
"The story will be adapted to showcase how Chinatowns in Liverpool, and around the world, have developed from the seeds sown and the pebbles laid by the earliest Chinese settlers, and how these small ‘islands’ have developed into the vibrant and diverse communities we see today," it says here.
Across the weekend, people can also take part in a reality trail which will take people on a tour through moments in Chinese cultural history in Liverpool and beyond. These include the story of football player and manager Frank Soo who was brought up in Liverpool, the role of Chinese sailors who replaced British sailors called up to the Navy and the origins of the game Mahjong which is played at the city’s Seeyap centre.
The traditional Chinese New Year celebrations will also take place on Sunday 29 January with a series of street performances, family workshops, art installations, parades and of course the popular Chinese market on George Street selling gifts, souvenirs and mouth-watering food.
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for culture, tourism and events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “Whenever we incorporate light projections in any of our activities they are hugely popular, and the combination of these special Chinatown landmarks being lit up as well as the usual mix of street performances, entertainment and markets will make it an unforgettable Chinese New Year for all involved."
Further reading: Jah Wobble's top five DVD box set thrillers
CHINESE NEW YEAR TIMETABLE, SUNDAY JANUARY 29
11 - 11.30am Pagoda Arts – Flower Drums and Fan Tai Chi
11.35 – 12.15pm Kwong Tam School of Tai Chi (in association with See Yep Association)
12.20 – 12.35pm Wah Sing - Traditional Chinese Dance & Song
12.35 – 1pm Pagoda Arts – Dance, Tai Chi, Happy Dance!
1 – 2pm Firecracker Display – Lucky Man, Dragon and Unicorn Parade arrives
2.05 – 2.20pm Hung Gar Kung Fu School – Martial Arts Demonstration
2.30 – 3.15pm Kwong Tam School of Tai Chi (in association with See Yep Association)
3.20 – 4.30pm Liverpool Confucius Institute performing a programme of Beijing Chinese Opera
5 – 6pm Chinese New Year lumiere – Jingwei and the Ocean
In the run up to the weekend of celebrations, thousands of lanterns will also illuminate Bold Street and Chinatown thanks to the support of the Liverpool BID.
For more information about timings, activities, family workshops or the projections, visit here.