GRCB BANK – Time Tells a Luminous Story 2018, China, Guangzhou

Time Tells a Luminous Story’ by DEM Global Designed for GRCB, Guangzhou, China

Like two rivers meeting and blending, together taking on a new character, so is the installation Time Tells a Luminous Story a conflux of artistic styles, effortlessly redefining its own creative direction. Borrowing from the ancient Chinese art of ink painting, and augmenting it with western watercolor practices, it sits a conflux of east and west. But it does not stop there. In fact, Time Tells a Luminous Story is an interactive digital art piece. It’s not simply a rendered video, but rather, a dreamlike world representing the area around Guangzhou city in China in a time far before industrial revolution with which you can interact.

The installation divided into 5 distinct areas made up of a long (32m) wall and 4 octagonal pillars. Each area represents one of the 5 Chinese elements; a five-fold intertwined scheme that represents the interdependence of the world around us and is made up of metal, water, wood, earth, and fire. The long wall represents metal (gold) and relates to the golden grain collected by the farmers in the area. Walking between the tall columns reminiscent of ancient tree trunks, the visitors miss out on cyclical nature, where the digital flora and fauna inhabiting it changes, unless they come more than once. The changes are based on a Chinese farmer’s almanac that describes 8 seasons, two for each of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. And consist of 70 carefully modeled, individual species native to the Guangzhou area. The location of visitors is tracked by an array of 12 sensors. 6 rendering computers what to draw. But that is all behind the scenes. All the visitors see is the direct changes that happen through their presence. Petals fly in the wind as they approach a scene. Animals react and approach the viewer. To farther aid the installation to be alive, there are 13 Big Data values, drawn from assorted matrices created by the Bank. These data points create farther variance in what is being rendered. It makes the installation a little different every time you see it. It might not be the most obvious change at times as the display space is 26K, housing 54million individual LED dots. The whole experience will be enhanced by the soundtrack uniquely created for this site. It consists of 7 different compositions, four season and 3 special modes. Each sets the mood for a full sensory experience. Together they make up a symphony, an ode to life, to perfectly complement the visual experience.


Building or project owner : Guangzhou Rural Commercial Bank (GRCB)

Architecture : Guangzhou Rural Commercial Bank (GRCB)

Project artist/ concept/ design/ planning : Demos Chiang and DEM(NINGBOFenghua)CO.LTD

Light hardware (LED hardware) : Shenzhen Joyway Technology Co., Ltd


Participatory architecture & urban interaction