Lunar New Year is just around the corner, and Gateway Theatre in Richmond is celebrating with a brand new immersive experience.
Into the Light (在燈光之中) runs for three days only, from February 18 to 20, and is an all-ages, walk-through event created by Hong Kong-born, Vancouver-based multidisciplinary artist Stephanie Won and award-winning Richmond-based artist Marina Szijarto.
“We wanted to explore why we still celebrate and participate in these customs today and highlight the mythology behind rituals, amplify the Richmond community, and emphasize togetherness,” said Jasmine Chen, Gateway Theatre’s Artistic and Community Producer in a release. “Into the Light offers a unique way of engaging with and learning about Chinese cultural traditions for everyone, no matter their cultural background.”
Visitors to Into the Light will step inside the ancient tale of the sea-monster Nian (年). According to legend, Nian came out of hiding on the eve of Lunar New Year and terrorized villages for food. The villagers worked together to ward off the beast as well as the darkness with lanterns, loud noises, and bright light.
Audiences will be guided through the immersive experience by illuminated lanterns and bursts of sound, colour and light, thanks to the lighting arrangement by Vanka Salim and soundscape composition by Sapphire Haze. Along the way, they will learn how certain Lunar New Year rituals became traditions still celebrated today.
After completing the Tale of Nian adventure, visitors can make paper lanterns in The Village, located inside the Gateway Theatre lobby, and add them to the community display. Everyone is then encouraged to visit The Shrine and post their wishes for a prosperous new year.
The paper lantern kits can also be brought home to be assembled as hanging one up is believed to bring good luck into the home.
Into the Light is adhering to COVID-safety guidelines and is primarily a contactless experience with timed entry, restricting the number of patrons inside. A limited number of tickets per time slot are available.
As required by the Provincial Health Order, patrons aged 12 and over must show proof of full vaccination along with picture ID upon entering the venue. Masks must also be worn at all times unless patrons are under the age of five or have a physical or medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask.
Into the Light
When: February 18 to 20, 2022
Time: 5 to 8 pm (Friday), 1 to 8 pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Where: Gateway Theatre – 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond
Tickets: $18-$28, purchase online
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