A FLOWER BETWEEN US
Join and remember.
What if… within a celebration that seems uniquely Mexican we find a broader connection with the world?
Zempoal is an interactive pavilion designed to explore the culture of the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico as embodied in the Day of the Dead. A pavilion dedicated to sharing the stories of people celebrating this traditions.
Zempoal was designed to be exhibited in the public space of Toronto, as part of the Nuit Blanche Toronto 2020.
ZEMPOAL ONLINE 2020
Due to covid-19, the Nuit Blanche was carried out as an online event, and Zempoal was adapted as a virtual tour. The original project will be exhibited during the Nuit Blanche Toronto 2021 edition.
We all seek to honor and remember our departed loved ones.
Zempoal Nuit Blanche 2021
Each year thousands gather around something which is common to us all: the celebration of a meaningful life in the face of the passing of our beloved ones.
Zempoal is inspired by the Cempaxóchitl flower which contains the essence of the Day of the Dead tradition.
A tradition which has itself become a space of successful connection between ancient indigenous and urban modern ways of life, through empathy, imagination and art.
Visitors will enter this flower and find inside small ofrendas (offerings) and colorful calaveras (skulls) made by Mexican indigenous craftsmen from a wide range of traditions.
In order to create a complete experience for the visitor, the pavilion will make use of the symbolisms of the Day of the Dead, such as: Copal (an incense used by ancient Mesoamerican peoples to prepare ritual spaces), Calaveras (skulls) and Altares (altars).
The experience will be aided by AR technology to reveal characters that have helped to shape Mexican culture in iconic and quotidian sense.
Zempoal was enriched and nurtured by people who live the Day of the Dead celebration every year in Mexico and other parts of the world.
Proud to continue with the tradition from generation to generation, communities of artisans in the state of Oaxaca nurtured this project, sharing their knowledge and artisan work.
NUIT BLANCHE TORONTO ONLINE 2020
Zempoal Online Nuit Blanche 2020
An online tour into Zempoal, designed to explore the cultural heritage of Mexico as embodied in the Day of the Dead. Through combined VR and AR interactive media, visitors experienced a warm and transformative connection between people across time and cultures.
Zempoal allowed you to explore the Day of the Dead through five ofrendas (offerings) depicting five stages of the history of the tradition, from ancient Mesoamerica to modern times: Nahua, All Souls, A New Rite, Icons, and Today.
The history of the altars was inspired by the work of Mexican historians and anthropologists, and insights shared by communities who recreate the Day of the Dead each year.
— Community of artisans of Mexico (Indigenous communities of San Martín Tilcajete and Ocotlán de Morelos, Oaxaca.): promote existing sites of interest in their communities, participation during the project development process, dissemination of their work.
— Mexican historians and anthropologists: participation during the project development process, dissemination of their research.
— Mexican communities in mexico and canada: raising awareness about their cultural traditions and promoting diverse places where the Day of the Dead is celebrated.
— Engaging online communities on social media: sharing their own story and images of the day of the dead.