In the month of November of 2013, we received an invitation from PortAventura to participate in the bidding process for the construction of a new theme-park attraction called Angkor, in which, on the one hand, they wanted to render gigantic temple ruins and, on the other, a stilt-house village by a river using wooden stilts. In the end, we won the bid for four of the component tasks making up the “Attraction Features” and which were formulated as follows:
The Shop, which occupies a surface area measuring approximately 80 square meters, was to consist of blister-dressed shelves, a central, circular counter, a shop window, a dressing room and a support module for an automated photo machine, all of which had to be made in solid pinewood treated to appear aged.
All of the Lighting of the attraction required some 150 fixtures, distributed among the buildings and the exterior. For example, 39 thematically-appropriate streetlamps were made, with wooden posts bearing two oxidized bronze arms, each with its own custom-made lamp, plus 49 wicker lamps for the pier area, 27 stylized torch lamps with wickerwork made from osier and raffia, a multitude of wall-lamp overlays, custom-made lampposts, lanterns and lamps of various kinds. All of this was manufactured in keeping with the applicable industry norms pertinent in each case.
The Signs were made with mechanized milling processes (with numerical control) and printed lettering, vinyl cutting and painting, all on supports made out of phenolic-resin boards and autoclave-treated pinewood, with special emphasis on scrupulous respect for the colors and the nature of the materials we were using.
The Props entailed all the elements of everyday use, plus the more than 30 human and animal figures needed for the Project designed by Art Director CLAUDIO MAZZOLI¬, all of which had to serve to create a credible and living scene represented throughout the tour. All the elements together number more than 300, each one a concept, with its own singularity, exclusiveness and exotic nature.
Twenty human figures were made, all with oriental facial features and in different poses, carrying out their everyday chores in the village; to do this, we started with the shaping of several heads of men and women of different ages in order to reproduce them later in polyester. Likewise, we carried out a study on proportions and postures; we molded in silicone various sets of forearms and hands in different positions, also feet and legs. Bodies were fit together in the proportions that best suggested average sizes for Cambodian indigenous people.
We also made 10 wooden boats measuring between 5 and 6 meters long characterized by their old and very well-used look. These can be seen moored all along the visitors’ trail, along with wooden trunks, shards of multi-colored clay, cooking utensils, fishing nets, cages, lobster pots, wicker work and sugarcane baskets, all custom-made in wood or scavenged from appropriate venues.