In 2011 the British Council invited The Light Surgeons to create and develop a performance project that would explore the rich cultural landscape of Malaysia.
This new commission would bring their unique creative processes and artistic direction to new audiences in South East Asia and a valuable opportunity to produce a new piece of live cinema work in collaboration with a group of leading Malaysian audio and visual artists. With the generous support of Canon, the documentary filming aspect of the project took place on location across the Malaysian Peninsular in 2011 over a total period of 5 weeks. This country’s complex cultural landscape made it the ideal place to weave together the universal themes of identity, ritual and place.
The production took The Light Surgeons and their collaborators from the busy streets of Kuala Lumpur to the remote villages and forests in the northern state of Kelantan and Kuala Terengganu. Their audio visual studies took in all aspects of the social landscape, from traditional shadow puppet theatre and religious rituals to the consumer temples of the shopping centre and personal grooming of the nail salon.
This documentary film production generated hundreds of hours of material and over six terabytes of data which was then painstakingly edited down into a set of audio visual compositions that formed the 9 thematic tracks of the live performance.
SuperEverything* is a cross disciplinary performing arts project created by leading audio-visual artists The Light Surgeons in collaboration with a group of Malaysian artists.
Commissioned by the British Council and filmed on location across Peninsular Malaysia, this live audio-visual performance explores the relationship between identity, ritual and place in relation to Malaysia’s past, present and future. Revealing juxtapositions between tradition and modernity, it seeks to discover who we are and how our complex identities are connected.
Exploded across multiple projections and different media, this live cinema performance layers together stunning documentary footage and motion graphics with an original musical score that together transport its audiences on a journey through a series of universal narratives. From globalisation and development, race and nationality to consumerism and belief, this project seeks to discover how our complex identities are formed through our involvement in everyday rituals.
This is a project that aims to make its audience contemplate our shared human story and to reveal our collective commonality. From our relationships with each other to our relationship with the environment, Super Everything* surveys our everyday rituals to reveal what unites and divides us. It is a journey through Malaysia’s past, to understand its present and to question its future.
It asks a timeless question about who we are and what we might become as both individuals and as a society.