Isaac Julien Uses Projectiondesign for Art Installation

Isaac Julien Uses Projectiondesign for Art Installation

projectiondesign has supplied nine of its F32 DLP projectors to British artist Isaac Julien for his latest art installation ‘Ten Thousand Waves’. Having been shown in several cities across the world, ‘Ten Thousand Waves’ has landed most recently at the Norwegian Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo, where it played as part of a wider exhibition called ‘Unfinished Journeys’ until May 20.

Click here to watch an interview with Isaac Julien.

Commenting on his use of the F32 for ‘Ten Thousand Waves’, Julien said, “When you are putting on a piece of work like this, you rely on a fantastic image. You need a certain color depth, you need color saturation and you need depth of field. Contrast ratio is also very important. projectiondesign projectors give us all this and more besides.”

  • The AV system for ‘Ten Thousand Waves’ was designed by ArtAV. Nick Joyce, the company’s owner, says all nine of the F32s are running at 1080p resolution.
  • “The unique thing about this system is that we output uncompressed, high-definition video,” Joyce said. “We started with 35mm film as a source, then went through a digital intermediate copy that remained completely uncompressed. So the image quality is highly accurate and true to the imagery that Isaac has shot and edited.”
  • In addition to the projection system, ArtAV also supplied its own media synchronizer, integrated with Blackmagic Design HyperDecks and a 9.2-channel surround-sound system using Anthony Gallo Micro loudspeakers.
  • Nick Joyce says the nature of the room at the Oslo museum brought projectiondesign’s advantages to the fore:
  • “The space in the room was tight to install the work. It’s a listed building and we weren’t able to fix anything at all to the structure of the room. So there were a couple of instances where we had what seemed like impossible projection angles. Being able to use short-throw lenses with the F32s was an absolute must. Without the choice of lenses, the installation simply wouldn’t have worked.”
  • Inspired by the Morecambe Bay tragedy of 2004, in which 21 illegal Chinese immigrants were drowned off the Lancashire coast in the UK after becoming cut off by the incoming tide while collecting cockles, ‘Ten Thousand Waves’ examines contemporary Chinese identity and the story it has taken from the country’s centuries-old mythology.


Julien spent many months in China researching for the work, before filming in rural and urban locations with an entirely Chinese cast. “The Morecambe Bay disaster was a great tragedy and also a great controversy,” Julien said. “And it made me ask a lot of questions. Where did these people come from? Why did they come? What did they leave behind in China?”

‘Ten Thousand Waves’ features three different narratives set in different times in Chinese history, and Julien uses the simultaneous projection of multiple AV content streams to allow these narratives to weave in and out of each other. Once inside the installation, the viewer can focus on a particular story, move from one to another, or step back and allow the artist’s diverse content to make its own unique impact.

Maria Dahl Aagaard, Product Marketing Manager at projectiondesign added, “We are especially proud to know that our projection technologies have been used by Art AV for this installation by such a respected international artist as Isaac Julien at one of the world’s finest cultural institutions.”