Pavilion Kuala Lumpur New Year Dragon Revisited

It has been a month since our last visit to the Pavilion Mall Kuala Lumpur. The magnificent Pavilion Mall dragon was still there inviting shutterbugs to take more photographs. We added some new photos of the Pavilion Dragon from this visit here. In a few more days will be February 6 2012 i.e. chap goh mei which marks the close of the fifteen days Chinese New Year celebration. The Pavilion dragon together with all the Chinese New Year decorations will most likely be taken down after that day.

Pavilion Mall dragon side view
The 183-metre long Pavilion dragon view at the side from the upper floor of the shopping mall. -- Camera: Olympus Pen Lite E-PL2 14-42. Lens: M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II msc standard zoom set at 14mm f/3.5 1/100s ISO200.

When we first photographed this Pavilion dragon a month ago it was just completed and a "work in progress" sign was still posted on the ground floor. Since then more new year decorations had been added with the finale being the dragon chasing a flaming golden red pearl ball. The flaming pearl ball is believed to be a symbol of wisdom while the dragon represents authority and power. Illuminating spot lights were also carefully positioned to shine on the Pavilion dragon making it looked even more alive and vibrant.

Pavilion Dragon chasing Ball
The Pavilion Dragon chasing a flaming pearl ball is an auspicious sign in traditional Chinese belief. -- camera: Olympus Pen E-P1. Lens: M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/2.8 lens set at f/4.5 1/40s ISO200

Here are some interesting behind the scene info on the Pavilion Dragon:
The Pavilion dragon was built by lion dancer master Mr. Siow Ho Phiew of WSH Dragon and Lion Arts. The construction of the pavilion dragon took two months to complete. The main structure of the dragon was commissioned from China. The fabric, artwork and final assembly were locally fabricated by WSH Dragon and Lion Arts.

It took 20 men and a total of 8 hours from 11:00 pm to 7:00 am to get the dragon up in mid air in the Pavilion Mall Kuala Lumpur. Various methods were experimented to make the dragon look like it is flying in mid air. Finally steel pipes were added to the main structure of the dragon to add strength and keep the dragon torso in shape before anchoring them to the eight beams of the roof structure of the mall.

Pavilion dragon looking from behind
Looking at the Pavilion dragon from behind, moving any further toward the tail end of the dragon trend to miss the head of the dragon or the dragon head become too small. -- Camera: Olympus Pen Lite E-PL2. Lens: M.Zuiko Digital 14-42 mm f/3.5-5.6 II msc set at 14mm f/3.5 1/60s ISO200.

According to lion dancer master Mr. Siow Ho Phiew his team wanted the swirling torso of the 600-foot long dragon to match the shape of Chinese character 忠(Zhōng) as written in artistic Chinese calligraphy. The character 忠 (Zhōng) means faithful, dependable  and trustworthy which are values a lion dance troop cherish with the utmost regards. He said that requirement added complexity to the task in getting the dragon torso up in Pavilion Mall.  In the end it was teamwork that made it possible and he was really very proud of what his team had achieved.

Decending Dragon of pavilion shopping Mall Kuala Lumpur
Side view of the decending pavilion dragon chasing at the flaming pearl ball . -- camera:Olympus Pen E-P1. Lens: M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/2.8 set at f/4.5 1/30s ISO200.

The Pavilion dragon is five times larger than the dragons used for traditional dragon dance. The head of the pavilion dragon is 3.05m or 10 feet long, while the torso of the dragon is 183m or 600ft in length. When required the Pavilion dragon can be modified for an extraordinary dragon dance.

My wife experimented with photographing the Pavilion dragon in panorama mode in order to cover the full length of the dragon from the side.  We will be sharing it in our coming posting when we are done with stitching the panorama photos together.

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