“Polar Spheres” is a “back to the roots” initiative. How do you create images in the most artisanal way possible, but one that is also incredibly deep-rooted? Only shadow theatre could fit the bill of course. The first traces of this art form date back to 121 B.C. in China, when small figurines were projected onto screens made of canvas and illuminated by oil lamp!

Bernard Duguay decided to revive this age-old technique and give it a modern twist.

“Polar Spheres” is a light installation that can be mounted using 6 to 25 reinforced vinyl spheres that are 2 to 10 meters in diameter. Shadow theatre does not use projections, but rather cut-outs whose shadows are projected onto the walls of spheres using a single simple light source.

The size of the spheres is important, because it creates an immersive effect. In fact, at Lucion, our experience has shown that when people are placed in front of mammoth spheres, the scale of reality is momentarily suspended. This allows the audience to be whisked off into a universe of the gigantic, and the child inside emerges as they are invited to experience something greater than themselves. The joy of participating in a creative, lively work of art with music and light makes for a memorable experience where visitors play the dual role of actor and spectator.

We then developed a number of different applications associated with spheres in which the audience could directly create collective content. Discover EXPosure and Speaktree.



“Polar Spheres” follows three families of giant spheres – i.e. three unique experiences with one common theme: winter.

“Polar Spheres” is a visual and sound installation that reacts to visitors’ every move. When the movement detectors pick something up, the spheres come to life, revealing magnificent projections. The show is inspired by the famous snow globes that we used to like to shake as kids. The 25 Polar Spheres lit up the Montreal winter in 2010-2011 at the Place des Festivals and the Place des Arts esplanade.

In the northern corner of the Place des Festivals, the urban winter family of spheres set up shop. An impressive shadow theatre highlights winter in the city.

Further south, the winter lights family and its series of mobile lights can be seen. A massive red lever in the middle of this family controls the spheres, with the lights and sounds from each reacting to the speed of various movements.

On the Place des Arts Esplanade, there is a winter game taking shape. Ancient lighting meets the ultra modern with paper lanterns and snow globes taking centre stage on a series of spheres inhabited by quirky little virtual characters projected onto LED screens.


La Presse article.