Us folks at island6 are nothing but opportunistic, so when a troupe of awesome acrobats popped into our studio one day, we pounced. The more persuasive amongst us convinced Nicolas Montes de Oca to get his shirt off and do some pretty cool moves on an old wooden stool.

Getting up is half the battle

He rises to the occasion

And... split!

You thought the previous handstand was tough?

What resulted from Nicolas’ efforts is a beautiful LED and Chinese papercutting artwork, inspired by the Pudong skyline and animated by graceful acrobatics and several bobbing spectator fish. The title character of ‘Nezha Ascends the Pearl’ comes from the mythological boy-god 哪吒 who saved his family and friends from the East Sea Dragon King Ao Guang 敖广by slaying his adversaries in battle. The Pearl, of course, refers to the iconic sci-fi-like Oriental Pearl Tower 东方明珠塔 that overlooks the eastern banks of the Huangpu. Designed by Shanghai Modern Architectural Design, the tower was allegedly inspired by a verse of Tang poet Bai Juyi’s verse, Pipa Song 大珠小珠落玉盤 (Big and small pearls clattering onto a jade platter). island6’s Shanghainese papercutting artist Tang Dashi laboured for days over the mammoth task of carving out and capturing the intricacies of the tower and its environs, and the final creation is proudly up on our walls for all to see.

We think it looks really cool. You tell us!

Nicolas poses next to his LED-rendered self

‘Nezha Ascends the Pearl’ is on show at island6 Shanghai, 50 Moganshan Rd, Building 6, 2F, as part of the nature-and-animal-themed exhibition The Cat that Eats Diodes. See you there!