A multitude of talents for a single show

by Nicolette Mok for SAPGOC | Published on:

The APG opening ceremony will bring multi-sensory features together as a unified whole.

It is no secret that the creative team behind the 8th ASEAN Para Games’ opening ceremony is a highly diverse one, boasting experts that span ages, nationalities, artistic backgrounds, and abilities.

Nevertheless, despite the varied capabilities that these talents have brought to the table, cohesion remains the order of the day, as we learn from Associate Visual Director Michael Larsson.

The APG opening ceremony, set for 3 December this year, will be a multi-sensory display made possible through the unification of the team’s individual efforts, brought together by a single aspiration: to provide a holistic and spectacular experience for the audience.

“Everybody comes from different backgrounds and we all have different specialities. But we have been going through a process shaped by dialogue and communication in order to achieve our key goal of making the ceremony a unified one,” remarked Michael, who hails from Sweden. Excited to see the surprises that Michael and his team have in store for the entire region? Tune in to the 8th ASEAN Para Games’ opening.

The filmmaker had actually only arrived in Singapore in November this year, with the sole purpose of working on the show. However, stressing the importance of communication with the rest of the team, he revealed that he had been working remotely since the middle of the year, keeping up a constant stream of dialogue with them via online channels.  

Working predominantly on Movements III and V of the ceremony, Michael declined to offer a preview of the actual content, preferring to leave it as a surprise. However, he did let us in on his unique responsibilities, which included “producing visual content” for the music.  

“It’s a layering process, where someone creates music and then you layer your interpretation on top of that. I’ve worked a lot with visual installations, producing visuals for music. So it becomes an expression in symbiotic space, a closed connection between what you see and what you hear. This applies to creating the visuals for the ceremony. If they are separate, they don’t work. If they are together, the visuals become an extension of the music, enhancing the experience,” he explained.  

Sharing that the two media were, ultimately, not very different from each other, Michael, who has a background in photojournalism, pointed out: “In music, you have pacing; you have texture – the very same things that you find in visuals. They are very similar languages, although the expression seems different. We want to be able to communicate regardless of abilities.”  

“Even if you can’t hear the music, you can still sense it. It is really important that it comes together as one and exceeds disabilities, and that everyone is able to experience it.”

Of course, the versatile artist is not just working on his visuals for the ceremony. In fact, he has been collaborating closely with the rest of the creative team on other parts as well, such as the countdown segment.

“Everybody has his or her own techniques and, together, we are making this happen as one,” he added. 

“This project is a creative process that’s all-inclusive. So no matter what you work on, you really have to consider all the aspects of space, people, music, visuals, lights, audience, and messages that are conveyed. All these things are equally important. Through communication, we help each other; we trigger each other, and find ways to put our creations together as one.”

Excited to see the surprises that Michael and his team have in store for the entire region? Tune in to the 8th ASEAN Para Games’ opening ceremony on 3 December!

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