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.