We take one step further, says Hangzhou Asiad opening ceremony director

  • World
  • Sunday, 24 Sep 2023

HANGZHOU, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Sha Xiaolan, chief director and chief producer for the Hangzhou Asian Games opening ceremony, said on Saturday that the opening ceremony held here "took one step further" than expected.

The opening ceremony of the Hangzhou Asiad took place on Saturday evening at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium, often referred to as "the Big Lotus". This marked a significant moment in sports history as digital torchbearers participated in the lighting of the cauldron. Over 100 million people joined on digital platforms to light up the cauldron collectively.

"It reflects the cultural confidence that we have announced the way and concept of cauldron lighting 100 days before the Hangzhou Asian Games. The collective participation of people in the lighting of the cauldron also symbolizes the vision of a human community with a shared future," Sha told a press conference held at the Games' Main Media Center.

Sha revealed that over three years of preparation, the team held more than 500 meetings and produced over 70 editions. "I want to thank my team, for the outstanding efforts of the directors and our 17 designers," Sha said, adding "Tonight we 'took one step further' than the last edition. We were making changes in the last two to three months, especially on augmented reality (AR)."

AR technologies were prominently featured at the opening ceremony, including the AR-generated dome that displayed flying sports equipment and the AR-generated waterfall that served as a backdrop for hoverboard performers during the gala.

Meng Ke, the executive director, highlighted the seamless integration of sports and technology at the opening ceremony.

"It was the first time 3D dual aerial performance technology has been used in a major stadium, and it was very challenging. It was great team efforts that led to the presentation of the energetic and surging momentum," Meng commented. "The program also showcased a counterforce device derived from indoor bungee jumping, utilizing technological means to create a unique atmosphere for the Asian Games."

Producer Wu Yan reflected on the event, stating, "It's a night of harvest, but I couldn't forget the sweat behind the success. Our utmost effort bloomed at 'the Big Lotus'. Each depiction of China's plum, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum at the opening ceremony was created 'stitch by stitch', and we embarked on new experiments in the technological expression of Chinese aesthetics."

The production team also extended their gratitude to the performers. Executive director Gao Yan said, "The brilliance on stage are the result of diligent practice off stage. The majority of the performers are university students, and they are like blank sheets of paper. Giving up is easy, while persisting is difficult. For them, staying committed is really cool."

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