The newly built Statue of Unity in India, the tallest of its kind on the planet, has been brought to life thanks to a a fascinating projection mapping.
Visuals on the statue, dedicated to visionary Indian statesman Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, have been accomplished by Christie’s Indian partner Pyramid Technologies and renowned German laser show producer HB-Laser using a total of 51 Christie Crimson WU25 3DLP® laser projectors.
The team is responsible for the complete design, installation and integration of the Crimson projectors, which has been hailed as the largest ever deployment of high-brightness projectors for a permanent installation in India.
Located in the state of Gujarat near the famous Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada River, the 182-metre bronze-clad statue is twice the size of New York’s Statue of Liberty, and 29 metres taller than China’s Spring Temple Buddha, which previously held the title of the world’s tallest statue.
“When it comes to challenging projects in India, Christie has been the preferred choice for projection solutions due to its excellent track record in terms of performance, reliability and service support,” said Ajay Parwaney, managing director, Pyramid Technologies. “We are honored to be involved in this monumental project from the conceptual stage, during which we participated in a detailed projection study that resulted in the Crimson Series emerging as the preferred choice of projectors for the projection mapping showcase on the Statue of Unity.”
Parwaney noted that the Christie Crimson was selected due to a number of reasons, such as its IP5X-sealed, solid-state laser light source in a rugged and compact chassis, and its ability to provide years of reliable and virtually maintenance-free operation.
“These specifications are important to the client as the required projection systems need to withstand inclement weather conditions. On top of that, the availability of the longest throw lens that can project bright and vivid images on this 182-metre high statue was another major reason why the Christie Crimson clinched the job for this project,” he added.
Harold Bohlinger, managing director, HB-Laser, commented, “HB-Laser is honoured and delighted to celebrate the life and achievements of Sardar Patel through the design and commissioning of an exciting laser light show on the Statue of Unity using the Christie Crimson projectors. By combining and synchronising the various multimedia elements together, we are able to tell the inspiring life story of the visionary Indian leader in an engaging manner, whilst delivering a massive multi-sensory impact to spectators.”
The installation and alignment of the projectors had to be completed in less than a week following the final touches made to the statue. All 51 Crimson WU25 projectors used for the 30-minute light and sound show are housed in a specialised enclosure customised to suit the enormity of the application, and fitted in a projection room located about 600 metres away from the monument. Specialised mirror mechanisms enable the Crimson projectors to display colourful visuals on the statue from such a far throw distance.
“We are absolutely delighted that the Christie Crimson Series has been chosen to illuminate the Statue of Unity, which is a symbol of India’s unity and integrity and a fitting tribute to one of India’s most respected statesmen in modern times,” said Sean James, Executive Vice President, Enterprise & Entertainment, Christie. “Over the years, Christie has built a solid reputation for delivering numerous large-scale projection mapping projects in India. We currently own 90% of the market share for permanent projection mapping installs in India, and 80% of the market share in India in terms of the deployment of projectors above 10,000 lumens.”
An architectural and engineering masterpiece
Local media described The Statue of Unity as an “architectural and engineering masterpiece” that took four years to complete. It is designed as a naturalistic and historically accurate representation of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, donning characteristic garments and in a walking stance. The late Indian leader, dubbed the “Iron Man of India”, had played a leading role in the struggle for independence and guided India’s integration into a united, independent nation.
Among the key attractions are a viewing gallery at the height of 153 metres that offers breathtaking views of the Narmada dam, a museum on the life of Sardar Patel situated at the statue’s base, as well as the eagerly anticipated projection mapping showcase where images are projected on the statue’s surface to create light and sound show based on Patel’s life. The Statue of Unity was officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an elaborate ceremony on October 31, which coincided with Patel’s 143rd birth anniversary.
According to Christie, the Christie Crimson Series range are designed with both fixed and live events stagers in mind, the Christie Crimson Series is built-tough and is easy to ship, handle and install thanks to its compact form factor, quiet operation and 360-degree orientation. With its long-lasting brightness (20,000 hours of long life light), rock-solid reliability, TruLife Electronics, and BoldColor Technology, the Crimson Series combines the best in solid-state illumination with the brightness and color that’s ideal for use in large venues, live events and high-usage environments.