"You exceeded my high expectations"

-Rich Saucedo, client

In April  2017 we were asked to created an elaborately themed going-away party for Rich Saucedo who was relocating from Chicago to Shanghai. It was at his favorite Chicago nightclub, Hydrate, which is divided into two spaces. Rich wanted to bring guests to Shanghai for the occasion, featuring stereotypical theming and with more than a few cultural appropriations and inaccuracies,  reflective of Rich’s tongue-in-cheek sense of humor.

We created a questionably-appropriate, larger-than-life, dictator-style propaganda poster of Richard. The faux asian characters say “Bon Voyage Saucedo” if you squint (and also adding French into the cultural jumble). The poster was also added in repetition around the entire club, propaganda-style.

 Guests arrived in the front bar of the club where we added decorative framework overtop of the backlit bar panels. Close inspection of the design would reveal an RS pattern, Rich’s initials.

 Guests walk from one section of the club to the back through a narrow hallway where we created a fiery Chinese dragon suspended overhead for an appropriate transition. 

The nightclub has a large number of HD displays, which we opted to use as decorative elements rather than showing any traditional video content. We created the impression of many glowing and flashing neon signs with a faux neon sign of Richard’s initials in an Asian character-style.

We were requested to create a stage set for guest performers and a special moment for Rich to address his friends and family. The space is fairly small, so we aimed to create the feeling of a vintage Chinese cabaret lounge featuring a backlit paper screen proscenium, reminiscent of that in the front bar space. We also created the custom backdrop and designed Rich’s confetti-filled appearance from behind 3 giant paper fans.

We utilized dozens of asian silk lanterns inside and outside,  using individual flickering circuits to create the illusion of  them being flame-illuminated, and adding energy to the whole space.


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