By Levi J Parsons
SYDNEY, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Four Chinese light artists have been wowing crowds this week at Sydney's Vivid festival, an event that turns the harbor city into an interactive art gallery and transforms its most iconic landmarks into psychedelic digital masterpieces.
Started in 2009, as a way to boost Sydney's winter tourism season, Vivid has quickly become one of the world's premier events, bringing in 2.3 million visitors for the 23-day spectacle and around 80 million U.S. dollars to the local economy.
This year, for the first time, a team of Chinese digital artists who met at University in Sydney have developed a cutting edge installation that is wowing hoards of visitors.
"The process was very tough and you need very good skills and you need to have the people and the resources," structural and architectural designer for the group, Luo Shidi, explained.
The dedicated team of four, worked four hours per day, for six days per week, for almost one year, in order to bring their creation to life.
"I have a full time job at a real estate company," creative designer and animator, Jia Tong said, "So in my spare time I met with my friends to do the Vivid piece, but this was just a little dream, then we tried our best and made our dream come true."
Called "light of thoughts," the installation represents a giant brain, and is designed to light up with viewer interaction.
"When people wave in front of it, they will deliver their thoughts and then you see that's the magic of thoughts," Luo said.
Like the human mind, the artwork has two sides which its creators say, symbolizes their Chinese connection to Australia.
"One side is represents Australian culture," Jia said.
"I combined an aboriginal symbol of snakes with the shell of the roof of the Opera House because we wanted to show the Australian people and the Australian culture meeting Chinese culture."
"It's very beautiful because on the other side is Chinese ink art."
"This year we have 90 art installations and projections around the city, designed by 180 artists who are from 20 countries, " executive producer of Vivid Sydney, Sandra Chipchase told Xinhua recently.
"Now it is Australia's biggest event and the world's largest festival of light, music and ideas. It requires cooperation from hundreds of organizations and thousands of people across the city," Chipchase said.
Set to be among the major attractions this year are the mesmerising digital images projected onto the Sydney Opera House every night, along with the glowing Sydney Harbor Bridge designs.
There will also be an array of animal light sculptures at Taronga Zoo and performances by aerial drones over the harbor.
Last year over 18,000 Vivid Sydney travel packages were snapped up by Chinese visitors, with a number of joint marketing programs doing big business for the Australian tourism sector, as well as all the major Chinese airline carriers.
"Vivid has been an absolute smash hit with our Chinese visitors," Chipchase said.
"I think it's the Chinese love of art and beauty that is attracting them to Vivid."
It seems the attraction will be even greater now that the event's first Chinese installation has arrived.
"There was a big bus of Chinese tourists that stop in front of my artwork, I felt very happy," Jia said.
"But what makes me most happy is not just the Chinese people that come to see our artwork, but the Australian people and tourists from all around the world and especially the kids," Jia said.
"They wave their hands, they interact with our artwork, I saw that they are happy and I felt very happy," Jia added.