The Robe Lighting Show Hits Japan

Japanese Lighting Designer, Mitsumasa Hayashi created The Robe Lighting Show – a piece of light art at the Urayasu Mai Studio of the Nihon Stage Co.,Ltd. – featuring over 350 Robe moving lights. These were supplied by prominent Japanese rental companies, M-Tech Style and the Mula Corporation. The piece was commissioned by Masaharu Sakamoto who heads up LTG, Robe’s Japanese distributor.

With live performances halted worldwide due to the pandemic, Sakamoto was keen to produce a lighting art video concept that could be enjoyed and appreciated by lighting enthusiasts worldwide.

Sakamoto was inspired by the positive, robust power of Robe’s brand messaging during these uncertain pandemic times. “A show like this using Robe products exclusively is unprecedented in Japan, so it was great to create one with everyone’s cooperation,” he commented.

He wanted to work with Hayashi on this project as a leading influencer and practitioner both in the Japanese lighting industry and internationally. The 10-minute light show features three music tracks and the action takes place on an empty stage which is bare apart from a large and symbolic piece of driftwood, placed so Mr Hayashi could imagine a world of light and energy around it inspired by the music.

His goal was to also keep the space open and the lighting very fluid and kinetic allowing each viewer to interpret independently and enjoy their own individual journey whilst watching, feeling the emotion and spirit of the combined visual and sonic experience. 126 Robe BMFL WashBeam EVs, 168 MegaPointes, 12 ESPRITES and 56 Tetra2s were specifically chosen to create the work.

120 Robe BMFL WashBeams were arranged in a back wall, six rows deep, each row with 20 fixtures, the highest being at 11m off the stage and the lowest at two metres. These trusses moved up and down on an automation system. Four BMFL WashBeams were deployed in each corner of the performance space on the floor, with a fifth upstage centre on the floor. These fixtures were picked for their power and functionality.

MegaPointes were positioned on two long left and right long side trusses which each had 24 MegaPointes, with a third set of 24 MegaPointes at the bottom of the back wall of BMFL EVs. Another 72 MegaPointes were mirrored on the floor, with another 24 fixtures rigged on a 12m circular truss above the stage.

Above the centre point of the stage was a 3 diameter Parasol KLR spinning truss loaded with the 12 ESPRITES, and directly above the driftwood tree trunk, pinpointing the epicentre of the geometric design, was another single BMFL WashBeam.

Tetra2 bars were rigged along the back wall, on the lower run of side trussing and on the floor. The fixtures complemented each other beautifully and harmoniously as Mr Hayashi worked his magic in imagining the show.

A fusion of visual ideas, fantastic programming and this large array of multipurpose fixtures gave Mr Hayashi all the scope and dynamics needed to produce this stunning show that cycles through a whole range of emotions – starting off reflective and delicate and working its way to an intense and expressive crescendo, taking viewers on a thrilling journey.

Robe CEO, Josef Valchar commented: “It was amazing to see Mr Hayashi’s work –  as always. He crafted an exquisite show utilising so many fine-tuned features of the fixtures, which was really thought-through and explored the boundaries of what can be achieved with a spectacular result.”

Robe Sales Director, Harry von den Stemmen was equally impressed: “We are all very captivated by the show and grateful to Sakamoto for taking the initiative and energising Mr Hayashi to making such striking light art.”

Hayashi has become a big advocate for Robe products since first inaugurating the Pointe in 2014, and he will specify Robe where possible for all his large projects. Both his company, the Mula Corporation, and M-Tech Style under the direction of Sakamoto have invested steadily in Robe in recent years.

Like everyone, both Hayashi and Sakamoto are looking forward to 2021 and a much better year ahead when the live show and event industry can start to get back to work as the pandemic is brought under control via worldwide vaccination programmes. “The Robe Lighting Show” was programmed on a grandMA2 console by Masaki Morii from the Mula Corporation and visualised by Michiko Yagi working for the Hayashi office.

Also instrumental in creating this work was production manager Yo-Ichi Ashikawa from M-Tech Style. The video was directed by Jihoon Kim from V-CON K.K. and produced by Shinji Ootake from K.K. Moi.