<<宁静致远>> Tranquil Transcendence pursues the stimulated experience of ascension from the terrestrial realm through the performance of music for its listeners. The theme of transcendence was initially derived from the cultural meaning of the traditional phoenix symbol, due to its association with flight, harmony and many other cultural meanings across Asian cultures. Many associations between the phoenix and music have been established throughout Chinese history.
“True form of a man-bird once successfully imagined in the mind will stimulate his sensation of flying – for envisioned mountain then transfer qi to him, lighten his body and lead him to heaven” – Man-bird Mountain of Taoism, Susan Huang
The project is a contemporary exploration of traditional Asian design and Chinese music as a unifying representation of Asian culture. Derived from the idiom <<宁静致远>>, where “宁静” refers to “tranquility” which is associated with the notion of meditation in which many Asian cultures practice in order to derive ways to free their worries and burdens of the terrestrial realm. This is often achieved through a long process of self-exploration and journey, in which the second pair of words “致远” refers to. Translated simply as “ambitions that aim high”, it refers to the journey of mental patience in which one may finally achieve his ascension.
This proposed concert presents the Chinese instrument, sheng, as the central melody. The shenginstrument is an emblem of creation of the Nu-wa, representing the sound and form of the heavenly bird and various symbolic meanings to it, hence the best instrument to represent the transcendence of phoenix.
Branding collaterals have been created for the concert where each design item carries metaphors reflecting the notion of Tranquil Transcendence. This includes a publicity poster, concert booklet addressing the concept and the program of the concert, a post-concert CD album, as well as the concert tickets for the event.
The concert poster carries the main design concept. The four motifs, which represents the four states of motion from rest to ascension, reflects the intention of the concert to liberate the mind of the audience through its program.
The color scheme for the concert has been carefully selected to present a contemporary interpretation of Chinese colors and the red phoenix using magenta, orange and yellow.
The concert booklet unravels as an accordion flow to allow the exploration of typography and text along the spread to reflect the motion of ascension as well as the music transition in an orchestra.
The CD album has been meticulously crafted to continue the typography play in the concert booklet. It carries the repertoire of the concert for the audience to purchase and bring home this transcendental experience.
As for the ticket, it has been designed to be intimate for the audience. Once again focusing on the typography play as seen above, the ticket also embodies the action of tearing off the ticket stub as a disposal of terrestrial burdens upon entering the concert hall.
DV3004 – Cultural Context in Asia Design
Hedren Sum Wai Yuan
12 November 2014
29 April 2017
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