Vivid Sydney 2019 — A Designer's Guide

Vivid Sydney 2019 — A Designer's Guide

In an annual tradition, Semi Permanent opens the first weekend of Vivid Sydney , your festival of light, live music and new ideas. 

There are literally hundreds of things to see, do, hear, taste and feel over May 24—June 15, so our shortlist (for fellow design geeks) can help you make the most of it. Here's where you will find us!

Lighting the sails

Last year’s Opera House projection by Jonathan Zawada is a tough act to follow, but L.A-based artist Andrew Thomas-Huang has the cred to put his own unique spin on proceedings. Using one of the world’s most iconic structures as his canvas, his piece (Austral Flora Ballet, May 24-June 15) was generated via motion captured choreography to generate fluid forms as a response to the architecture. 

Huang has previously collaborated with the likes of Björk, Thom Yorke and Sigur Ros, so this ballet of floral avatars and human movement should be an interesting play on the harbour surroundings. Always worth the spectacle. 

Andrew Thomas-Huang ‘Lighting the Sails’

Get (even more) ideas 

If three days of talks at Semi Permanent isn't enough, Vivid Ideas' program of talks, workshops and panels will cram your brain with another year’s worth of futurist discussion points. 

Designers will want to check out Street Signage: Design and Lived Behaviour (30 May, Australian Design Centre), with four environmental design experts discussing the influence of typography on human behaviour; interior specialists can hear from IKEA’s Australian head of interior design on rethinking home design as a societal advantage (IKEA — Future Design, 31 May, MCA); and Design in the Boardroom (3 June, MCA) will discuss enterprise-level design as a thriving $32 billion dollar industry. 

IKEA ‘Future Design’

You can also learn from the top-brass of female business leaders at the Vogue Codes summit (14 June, Barangaroo); how Pete Majarich designed a movie poster every day for a year at Golden Age Cinema (Designing Something Every Day, Golden Age Cinema, 4 June); as well as some radical discussions about the future of food and intimacy that may have a role to play in how you live. 

Watch (even more) films

With Oscar-winning director Michel Gondry, movie trailer maestro Mark Woollen and Isle of Dogs designer Erica Dorn headlining Semi Permanent 2019, our appetite for movies spurs The Sydney Film Festival (June 5-16, State Theatre and surrounds), screening all genres of film for two weeks straight. 

Claire Denis’ ‘High Life’

Our picks from the lineup? Claire Denis' psychological sci-fi romance High Life is getting much buzz (and a a gold-plated A24 distribution — read how Mark Woollen made the trailer here), Jim Jarmuch’s zombie film The Dead Don't Die with Adam Driver and Bill Murray fills the much needed void of recent zombie-comedies, Final Quarter will document the extraordinary life of AFL legend Adam Goodes, and Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts goes behind the scenes with one of Rupaul's Drag Race biggest exports. 

See (even more) art 

After kicking off your art fix with CJ Hendry, Jonathan Zawada and Jason Woodside at Semi Permanent, there are plenty of installations, exhibitions and galleries to explore outside. 

For the first time ever the Sydney Opera House will run a five-day programme of video art and film in collaboration with M+, Hong Kong’s new museum of visual culture (The Hidden Pulse, 1-2 June). Artists Cheng Ran, Arthur Jafa, Wu Tsang and more will explore the way music and performance can build community, resist authority, transform culture and reclaim space. 

Catch Tony Costa’s Archibald Prize winning portrait at Art After Hours

An annual fixture on any self respecting Vivid itinerary, Art After Hours (Art Gallery of NSW, 29 May, 2 June, 9 June) returns from its winter slumber for three nights of talks, music and — duh — art. Meshel Laurie and the producers of ABC’s You Can’t Ask That are amongst the speakers, plus exhibitions from Jeffrey Smart, Duchamp and The Archibald Prize will go down well after a glass of bubbly in the main gallery. 

Expand your musical horizons

Vivid’s renowned music programming continues to benchmark Sydney’s cultural calendar for the 11 months around it. 

Catch the world premiere of Jónsi and Alex Somers ambient masterpiece ‘Riceboy Sleeps' (Sydney Opera House, June 11) recreated live with a 21-piece orchestra and choir. In an Australian exclusive, Johan Johansson's ‘Last and First Men' (Sydney Opera House, June 2) will celebrate the genius of Norway’s recently-passed composer (Arrival, Mandy, Sicario) with an extraordinary multimedia performance co-produced by Tilda Swinton. 

FKA twigs takes over Carriageworks for one night only

Over at Carriageworks (hi!), FKA twigs will be taking over for a one-off performance, sure to be a hypnotic and ambitious feast for the senses. 

Then after all that, you can take your pick from an intimate musical experience with Oregon-based Grouper; rave in the Opera House basement with two of the world’s most cutting edge electronic acts Laurel Halo and park hye jin; catch Jazz legend Herbie Hancock in the concert hall, or round it all off with an outdoor Harbourside party with long-standing queer legends Club Kooky

Check out the full program, find out more info and buy your tickets at Vivid’s website. We’ll see you there soon. 

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