if you can dream it
we can build it

How Our Team Builds Customized Lanterns

Choosing which larger-than-life Chinese lantern that will illuminate the night during your next festival or special event shouldn’t be the same as choosing a T-shirt or sweater from the department store rack.

Every experience should be unique, and one-of-a-kind experiences make your event stand out from the crowd.

Creating Immersive Experiences with Cutting-Edge Technology​

Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc., works closely with partner venues to create custom lantern designs based on individual sets of needs and goals — from creating entire festivals with dozens of lanterns that tell a cohesive story to designing individual structures that reimagine a company logo.

Every year for their festival, Antwerp Zoo will choose a story they want to present to the audience, and we recreate the story characters and scenes to draw visitors into the storyline using our Lantern creations — an innovative cooperation within the Lantern industry. This is customization on an unprecedented scale!

To create a fully immersive experience we use cutting-edge technology and advanced lighting design, including computer programming to control changing lights, dynamic movements, and audio soundscapes.

We recently brought Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” to life by telling the story with displays that visitors could physically engage with—which is an invitation for visitors to take photos to share on social media. The result was a Lantern exhibition that was like a real-life, interactive children’s picture book!

We can also create collections of lanterns that work together to help advance an organization’s mission. We created two conservation-themed exhibitions in collaboration with the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. The 2018 exhibition was titled Endangered & Extinct Animals; the museum in early 2019 held an ocean-themed exhibition, Océan, une plongée insolite (A Fantastic Adventure Under the Ocean). These festivals mirrored the mission of the national history museum and it’s exhibitions.

Bringing Lantern Designs to Life

A huge challenge in creating customized lanterns using new technology is knowing what type of materials and methods should be used to achieve the desired effect, considering the fidelity, light transmitting properties, durability, safety, environmental friendliness, and other factors.

But, as we work with partners, our experience enables us to find innovative, never-before-seen solutions to meet our partners’ needs. If you follow our festivals you can see our lanterns improving and upgrading year after year.

For Vivid Sydney, we worked with our partner to develop a new method to achieve realistic hair for gorilla lanterns.

Tianyu is the first and only Chinese lantern producer to exhibit artwork at Vivid Sidney, which has been called the largest light show in the world. We are proud to have displayed our innovations on this world-class stage for five years now.

In one detail-oriented chapter of this project, we worked collaboratively with our partner to develop a new way to recreate realistic hair designs on gorilla lanterns. They drew the designs and we brought it all to life. And we continue to push the envelope and invest in research and development to create new animal lanterns using advanced lighting technology.

When it comes to turning a two-dimensional design into a three-dimensional reality, Tianyu’s artists have proven their creativity working from nearly any source material. Look no further than the student lantern contest that is an annual tradition at our Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival. Children ages 8-14 are invited to submit a drawing of an animal, and our talented team brings the winning designs to life. The lanterns are displayed at the festival and the students even get to take them home at the end.

Pictured above: 2017 student lantern contest winners with the lantern versions their designs of the monkey, the dog, and the rooster

Whether we provide partners with designs, or partners present them to us, it is always a team effort. Since every lantern design and event is different, we have to consider various aspects, including the materials used, the best lighting technology that matches the theme of the event, and the balance for the overall tone of the experience.

Custom Lanterns for Branding

We are known for producing world-class Chinese lantern festivals, but our innovative Chinese lantern designers also create individual custom lanterns that provide unparalleled brand exposure.

We have worked with event sponsors who wish to provide their own branding through custom-made colorful lanterns, including tourism agency Visit Philadelphia’s beloved XOXO symbol during the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square, which became a favorite photo-spot at the festival, earning the sponsor untold additional social media impressions.

Visit Philadelphia’s “XOXO” symbol Lantern at Franklin Square
Since 2017 we have worked with Cologne Zoo in Germany to create a lantern of Hennes the Goat

Other organizations want to pay homage to beloved national figures or mascots, including Cologne Zoo in Germany. Since 2017, we have worked with the German zoo to create a lantern of Hennes the Goat — one of the biggest celebrities in the North-Rhein area of Cologne and mascot of FC Koln, a member of Bundesliga, the top football league in Germany — so that they can proudly display Hennes for its many fans to see.

After the events, these lanterns can become unique centerpieces in an office, home, or other interior space!

Custom Lanterns to Set the Scene

You can even see Tianyu designs on the big screen! We worked with team behind the Academy Award-winning blockbuster film Skyfall on dragon head lanterns that set the scene for James Bond’s visit to the Macau Casino!

We created these set pieces about 10 years ago, when we were mostly focused on the Chinese market. The success of our work with the Skyfall team kickstarted our desire to go global! Now, we work with venue partners across the United States and abroad.

We hope you enjoyed this look at the making of Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc., Lantern Festivals

If you would like to learn more, contact our professional planners for a customized plan to help your organization create one-of-a-kind lanterns or festivals.