LaLaport Hosts First Immersive Sakura Display By NAKED

LaLaport Sakura Festival will be from 20 April until 19 May
LaLaport Sakura Festival will be from 20 April until 19 May

Springtime in Japan is famed for its sakura, making it a season that many look forward to for its beautiful scenery and climate. It is during this precious time of year that the ephemeral cherry trees blossom, painting the landscape pink.

Malaysians now have the opportunity to be immersed in the wonder of Japan’s springtime as Tokyo-based creative production company NAKED, INC. (“NAKED”) presents its maiden experience in Malaysia at LaLaport BBCC.

The immersive projection mapping experience brought to life by NAKED. INC.

The “Sakura Festival Powered by NAKED, INC.” will see the Japanese concept mall’s WoW Plaza (Ground Floor) and Central Rooftop Garden (Level 4) facade illuminated in pretty pink lights and colourful projection mapping inspired by cherry blossoms. Actual Keio cherry blossoms from the Yamagata Prefecture in Japan will be specially brought in and set up in a viewing zone for locals to enjoy as well.
Starting daily from 7:30 pm, the presentation by NAKED will elevate the hanami (i.e. ‘flower viewing’) tradition of enjoying the beautiful flowers which occurs only once every year,

transporting visitors to Japan in an instant. Taking lead from its inspiration of the once-a-year sakura season, the installation is available exclusively for a limited period until 19 May 2024 and is open to all without charge.

The immersive experience is the brainchild of LaLaport BBCC and brought to life by NAKED, who are renowned for blending compelling storytelling and creative visions to craft next-generation digital art experiences.

Prior to this, NAKED’s works have been presented across Japan as well as in Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Notable works include the direction of the G7 Hiroshima Summit social dinner presented to world leaders, experiential digital art series “NAKED FLOWERS” exhibited in World Heritage Site Nijo-jo Castle, and collaboration with Singapore’s Mandai Wildlife Reserve.

LaLaport BBCC Senior Advertising & Promotions Manager Mr. Kenro Abe said, “We are thrilled to host NAKED’s latest projection mapping project here in Malaysia for the very first time, offering the public an unforgettable night-time hanami experience like never before.

Dubbed as one of Japan’s foremost creative powerhouses, NAKED infuses art and technology to transform the cityscape into a captivating canvas of Japanese culture. We are delighted to welcome all visitors to join us in this month-long exhibition as we have specially curated an array of exciting activities for everyone to enjoy and take part in. Visitors can also rent special yukatas to add to the experience.”

Further amplifying the atmosphere, Japanese rock group HOSHI-NO-OKA performed their debut single live during the Sakura Festival opening. The group comprises a quartet of talented Malaysians – Cyen, Kano, Sasha and Angela, who have been honing their skills under the guidance of producer Kenta Matsukuma. Hoshi-No-Oka directly translates to ‘star hill’, symbolising Bukit Bintang where they were formed after winning the ‘Take Your Voice to Japan’ competition organised by LaLaport BBCC.

AKB48 member Yurina Gyoten made a special appearance

Adding an extra jolt of energy, Japanese idol girl group AKB48 (A.K.B. Forty-Eight), named after the Akihabara area in Tokyo, is scheduled for a special appearance to rock the stage in LaLaport BBCC. AKB48 are among the highest-earning musical acts in Japan and will be performing on the weekend of 18 – 19 May 2024 to close off the Sakura Festival Powered by NAKED, INC. at LaLaport BBCC.

Sakanoue Café, a well-known shaved ice store in Yushima, Japan, is also set to open its doors in May. They will be serving a limited edition cherry blossom ice until 19 May 2024 only.

Sakanoue Cafe, a well known shaved ice store in Yushima, Japan is set to open its doors in LaLaport BBCC in May

Throughout the festival’s duration, other F&B tenants will also be curating and offering special Sakura-inspired creations for visitors to savour. In addition to the projection mapping, throughout the duration of the Sakura Festival Powered by NAKED, INC. at LaLaport BBCC, there will be interactive activities such as the Uchiwa Stamp Rally for visitors to participate in for added excitement. The rally involves spending a
minimum of RM20 at five different participating stores to collect stamps to redeem an RM20 LaLaport cash voucher.

On weekends, visitors can take home unique, custom souvenirs from the Japanese mask painting and sakura origami art workshops. The workshops will be held on Saturdays and Sundays between 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Level 1, near Moto Guzzi & Forever 21. Interested visitors just need to spend RM100 in up to two (2) receipts to enjoy either one of the workshops.

Also on weekends, the Central Rooftop Garden will host 30 pink themed bazaar booths in a Sakura Market. Patrons can expect to find an eclectic mix of Malaysian and Japanese food, crafts and knickknacks which make good gifts for loved ones. The bazaar operates from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.