The development of stage lighting in China

Lighting is a very important stage art forms, however, in the 1920s, the role of the lights on and people do not understand. Hong Shen, a famous theater artist operator, began to value stage lighting earlier ahead of others.

During the 1920s in Southland club, the third brother Tian Hong is in the charge of stage and lighting work . A t that time, Tian Hong did not know too much about the Magic of the stage lights and just thought that, the lights on the stage requires nothing more than to illuminate the stage, and let the audience see clearly.

At that time, Hong Shen shared an intimate relationship with Tian Han, and he often participate in Southland club rehearsals. On one occasion, he told Tian Hong that, “Only lighting up the stage, that is not a real kind light. Lighting is a part of the theatrical arts, and need to adapt to the time, place and plot of the drama.

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After Hong Shen made some guidance , Tian Hong realized and decided to make an attempt. When the rehearsal of a Farce “life with will,” Tian Hong came up with new ideas connected with the lights. The Father in the drama got furious as his son was unemployed back because of falling in love with a girl. Tian Hong set up with a strong beam of light hitting him in the head in order to highlight the father’s anger, rendering his dignified look. Also using a weaker light, he wanted to illuminate the back of two Prynne, and thus heighten the old man’s image. This kind solution toward the lights makes the audience feel very fresh. The next day of the show, some articles in the newspaper have praised the show of Southland community which have innovative and creative spirit.

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Later Tian Hong also in the “Fifth Ward”, “Tragedy on the lake” and other operas, did some new explora-tions on the stage lights again. However, when creating the atmosphere of the moon, usually some modifica-tion was made on a foreign iron bucket and the light was playing on the theme behind the scenes through the drum circle. Tian Hong thought deeply and made trials again and again, finally came up with applying several different colors of yarn between the drum and the curtain to render moonlit atmosphere. When the performances of “lake” drama began, along with changes in the plot, the moon sometimes lovely, warm, sometimes mournful, sad, the plot, the characters played a good role in contrast, for the performance con-siderably. It seems today, which of course is very simple and very general process, but at the time, but it is not a small creation.

Centralized control type, segmented control type lighting technology by the twelve to one row, two rows, rows of lights or even more, with the development of the times, for stage lighting control becomes a problem. Thus, the control system relating to lighting appeared.

Early control system has only one lever, as this single-pole system can meet the requirement of a lot of performances in “segmented” stage lighting. In these performances, all lights in the scene requires only converted one by one . However, artists not only require spreading light at free, but also require variations of light changing. This single-rod system has one worst shortcoming -the lights change only with one mode – “Synchronous Change”, which inevitably bound to the diversity development of art light.

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Over time, the lighting control system developed from a control lever into a plurality of control rod evolved. Furthermore, there have been more typical centralized control types, segment control devices.

Set control devices are programmed to divide the lights into several groups, respectively, their brightness are controlled by several control levers. That is, a control lever in charge of a group of lights. However, the brightness of each lamp is still not free to choose, lighting is not ideal.
Although in the segmented control devices each light has a control lever and will have different variations, but the specific performance of the brightness of the lamps must be determined by the operator through the control lever positioning, as excessive human factor interference is difficult to ensure optimal performance.

Thus, more advanced and more stylized lighting control system is ready.

Initial use of computer-controlled lighting is in the late 1980s, with the development of computer technology, and the use of computers to store information are more common instead of a large number of complex manual operation.

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