COH Returns to Lyon for the Fete Des Lumieres 2012

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Lighting up the North
December 2012 – Returning for another winter festival in Lyon was our team of Shaun, Joyce, Ai Hwa and Alfred. Led by Khor Tuck Kwan and The Living! Project’s Allen Lim and Kenny Eng.

The team once again brought their message of empowerment of the handicapped and the need to focus on recycling as part of responsible environmental stewardship to an overseas audience in France.

Braving the long journey, language challenges and cold weather, The Living! Project and COH teamed up to bring the light art installation even closer to the audience in 2012, based at the CHRD (Centre d’Histoire de la Resistance et de la Deportation de Lyon).

Renewing friendships
On his return to Lyon, Shaun especially enjoyed interacting with the students from the Premier Film School who he had first met during the team’s previous visit.

This time, Shaun and Joyce showed the students how to prepare the orchid flowers, cutting the recycled plastic bottles into forms of petals and leaves. Following that, they demonstrated how to assemble the elements to form the orchids for display.

The highlight was preparing The Wishing Tree installation – a tree with branches that had been pre-fabricated and shipped to Lyon in six parts. The team’s job was to assemble and erect the Wishing Tree as well as prepare metre-long blue tassels with lights attached. This was so that visitors to the festival could write their well wishes on the tassels and toss them onto the branches to create the effect of frond-like leaves that lighted up the tree.

Luminescent violet glows emanating from the floral spirals – also made of recycled plastic petals and leaves – encircling the tree, made it a truly spectacular sight to behold.

Welcoming the visitors
On the 6th of December, honourees such as Mr Tan York Chor, Singapore’s Ambassador to France, and Monsieur Gerard Collomb, Senator-Mayor of Lyon, took part in the ceremonial launch of the event.

“A few thousand visitors came to write their messages of hope on the banner strips, after which they threw them onto The Wishing Tree,” Alfred related.

Six pots of the plastic bottle orchids created by the team and their partners stood at the entrance of the CHRD, drawing attention from an admiring crowd. There were many photos taken and conversations made over the displays.

“Extra curricular activities”
This trip, the team also managed to squeeze in a workshop for the staff of Citadines APART’ HOTEL. It was conducted by Khor Tuck Kwan, with Shaun and Joyce demonstrating the creation of the orchid flowers from recycled plastic bottles.

The staff thoroughly enjoyed their practice in cutting and creating the orchids and, at the conclusion of the workshop, treated the team to a scrumptious pizza lunch.

The team spent their final few days in Lyon exploring some of the sights about town– a Catholic Church on a hilltop, Chinatown, a shopping district and even a Sunday market. But their experience in connecting to the Lyon crowds with such a unique and interactive art installation as The Wishing Tree, will likely be their fondest memory of all.


About the Author: The COH Resource Team comprises volunteers, content writers and experts, including psychologists, counsellors, educators and social service professionals.


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