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Sun Kaijun from Luoman Company: lighting to warm everyone in city
By:Zhao Chunyuan, Fu Yifei  |  From:english.eastday.com  |  2021-08-18 17:06

Sun Kaijun, chairwoman of Shanghai Luoman Company

Since the 1990s, enjoying the breathtaking night view in the Bund area of the Huangpu River has been a must for both domestic and foreign tourists to Shanghai.

From June 30 to July 4, 2021, a colorful light show in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China was staged on the banks of the Huangpu River in Shanghai. The dazzling light show left a deep impression on Shanghai citizens and tourists, and brought tears to the eyes of countless viewers. Among the many people cheering, there was a representative chorus, “This is Shanghai! This is its soft power!” This was Sun Kaijun, chairwoman of Shanghai Luoman Company, and the team led by her, taking part in the Huangpu River light show project. Recently, Sun shared the story about the unforgettable moments of the team both on and off the stage, from the very beginning of the design stage to implementation stage, as well as the special significance of urban landscape lighting in her opinion.

Story behind the light show: mutual achievements between people and city

The light show in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China

In this light show, buildings’ lighting is the foundation, supplemented by laser lights, beam lights and customized music. The Luoman team, responsible for the Lujiazui area of the Huangpu River light show, undertook all the landscape lighting improvement projects along the Huangpu River in Pudong District from 2018 to 2021. Sun said that this year they’ve mainly focused on the design that makes lights dance on the facades of the illuminated buildings according to the rhythm.

Luoman’s self-developed intelligent lighting integrated management system

To reveal the charm of architectures in which the whole city acts as a stage, Luoman team used light control units, seeing it as a goal that the architectures reflect different charms and certain spirits.

There are nearly 100 buildings merely in the Lujiazui area. Since these buildings have different lighting constructions and technical design, the team built a self-developed intelligent lighting integrated management system in order to let so many buildings follow the unified command and complete the overall lighting performance.

Frontline workers

However, different buildings have various facade materials and light tubes. Hence repetitive experiments, research and debugging work was needed to work out the most suitable and effective plan. But the team was pressed for time. “Beginning in mid to late May, we debugged the lighting frequently. The debugging stage somewhat affected not only businesses but also many citizens. Take the debugging of the laser lights as an example, which we carried out from 11pm to 5am at that time,” said Sun. But she was quite moved by citizens’ support in Shanghai for the light show. At the same time, the success of the light show couldn’t have been achieved without a group of workers behind it. They are the operation and maintenance team who hold fast to their positions on the front line and were responsible for the security work during the performance of the light show. “Everyone is constantly overcoming difficulties in the process of completing a task. I can see the character of Shanghai is the mutual achievement between people and the city,” said Sun.

Witness development and make progress with Shanghai

At the age of 16, Sun went to study in New Zealand. In 2010, after studying abroad for ten years, she returned to her hometown and followed in her father’s footsteps to join the Luoman Company. When she came back, Shanghai had seen a rapid development. “I remember taking a picture in front of the sundial at Century Avenue before I went abroad. There were few cars at that time. Now it is a two-way street with eight lanes,” Sun said emotionally.

More tiny and concealed lights on the Bund architectures

Recalling her first experience entering into the lighting industry, Sun still has a fresh memory. “As I was born in Huangpu District, I was fully conversant with almost every street and could reel off all the changes in the Bund area when I returned to join the related project here. So, when I did this project, I regarded it as a great chance for me to experience the city’s development again,” said Sun.

Sun also shared a story that touched her a lot. “After the Bund was comprehensively transformed, we found that many elderly Shanghainese came to the Bund again to see the changes. An old granny, who used to be a teacher in an academy of fine arts, drew a painting of the Bund in the daytime. She said she hadn’t seen such beautiful buildings since a long time ago. In fact, our team replaced all the original lights on the buildings with mini lights,” Sun recalled sentimentally.

“Now what we are most proud of is not that the Bund is fascinating at night, but that it is equally charming during the day, because the current landscape lighting not only considers how to lighten the buildings at night, but also takes into account the aesthetics of buildings during the day”, said Sun.

City lighting gives people happiness in its own unique way

The Bund area at night

The brilliance displayed by the light show excites the viewers, making it the main window to display the city image and culture to a great extent. The Luoman Company has been deeply engaged in the lighting industry for more than 20 years. In Sun’s view, urban landscape lighting has several special meanings. “First of all, the night view can be a city’s ‘name card’ as the light show not only looks spectacular, but also empowers the economy of the city. Secondly, the night show vitalizes the night-time economy in Shanghai with an obvious effect especially after the outbreak of coronavirus. Thirdly, a city itself can be a stage. We find that many young people come to this light show, which deepens their love for the country with the stunning lights. In fact, the show can also be seen as an instructive way to educate our next generation,” said Sun.

In order to commemorate the lighting of the first electric lamp turned on at Nanjing Road by the Shanghai Electric Company in 1882, a lighting ceremony was held on the evening of September 12, 2020.

More importantly, Shanghai's urban landscape lighting can bring more empathy to the people who work and live in the city. According to Sun Kaijun, when participating in the east extension project of Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street in 2020, the team designed a small light show highlighting the first electric light of the Shanghai Electric Company, which was lit up on Nanjing Road in 1882. The show successfully became popular online. “Although these are not big changes, these details can always bring a lot of warmth and beauty to this city. In the future, the Luoman Company will continue to explore the cultural connotation of Shanghai, bringing people intuitive feelings,” Sun said with longing.

“Shanghai is not only a platform but also a stage. In the future, we will make great efforts on urban micro-regeneration by integrating and developing technology and culture together, to let the city resonate with more people and give people here a sense of happiness,” said Sun.