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One Night in Shanghai

Being able to travel with what i do, is one of the favorite parts of my job.

I love sharing my passion, and receive new inspiration in return.

A few weeks ago I went to Shanghai with Weta Workshop, to do a live body art demonstration for a big exhibition opening.

Sir Richard Taylor with "One with Nature"

The exhibition "A Future in Visual Arts" was created by Weta Workshop, in collaboration with 421 Sudio and hosted by the city of Wuzhen - a 1300 year old town - best described as a Chinese version of Venice. Words can not describe the beauty of this village, and the hospitality that met us there.

The Exhibition consisted of 2 parts, showcasing the world of Dr. Grordbort as well as the Art & Craft of Weta Workshop.

Furthermore the 7 Oscars won by the Weta Group of Companies was also on display for the opening event.

The world of Dr. Grordbort is created by Greg Broadmore. Greg works as a concept artist and game designer at Weta. He has a pretty disturbing imagination - and I mean that as a great compliment!

The Dr. G. Universe is build around the anti-hero Lord Cockswain - an explorer trying to colonize other planets, creating intergalactic chaos wherever he goes.

It´s a science fiction satire, but spanning from the 1890s to the 1940s.

Leading up to the exhibition I had the privilege of working with Greg. I helped create a variety of native Venusian weapons, as well as a mad scientist´s lab featuring alien and plant specimens with crazy names such as Urfinepe, Fluffy Nugget, and Highly Toxic Killer Sconge!

When Greg originally briefed me on the project he added: "Just make it as messed up as possible!" .... well, I think we achieved that....

(The "Dr. Grordbort's Exceptional Exhibition" will be in Shanghai for the next 6 months. After that it will travel the world, and I encourage you all to go see it if you ever get the opportunity.)

On the opening night we launched the exhibitions with a huge life event; The auditorium held 1000 people, and every single seat was sold out.

7 Weta Artists including myself, was invited to do live demonstrations and to talk about what it means to be an artist in the Film Industry.

As we walked into the foyer of the auditorium we were greeted by a larger-than-life sign, featuring all of our faces. Never before have I seen such a large photo of myself!

We walked on stage, each with an oscar in hand, and the audience was hooked.

Sir Richard Taylor started his presentation, and introduced each of us:

  • Gino Acevedo, Weta Digital

  • Michael Hedges, Park Road Post Production

  • Kim Docherty, Weta Workshop

  • Jason Docherty, Weta Workshop

  • Daniel Falconer, Weta Workshop

  • Shane Rangi, Stunt Professional

  • Sofia Bue, Weta Workshop

As each artist in turn made their presentation, I started my demonstration on one side of the stage.

Life footage was projected on to a huge screen behind us, as well as each of our showreels when it became our turn to talk.

My character, titled "One with Nature", was created especially for this event.

The piece explores the relationship between humans and nature.

Nature offers an infinite source of inspiration and for me living in New Zealand means living in constant awe, with reverence for all life, and with a sense of never-ending wonder.

No matter where you look the landscape and weather varies and changes; from rainforest to glaziers, from white sandy beaches to rough coastal terrain. Here you can lose yourself; truly become one with nature.

For weeks leading up to the trip I designed, sculpted, molded, cast and painted every element to bring this creation to life.

Every step of the process was documented by the amazing Imaging Department at Weta Workshop in the video you can see below.

Following up on last week´s post "Documenting your Work" this is a great example of ways to do so. The video uses both timelapse photos, stills, and video footage.

There is no way I could have done all this by myself, which is why being part of a creative community is such an important part of being an artist.

I will talk more about that in next week´s post "Creating Powerful Collaborations" :)

Thank you Weta and Wuchen, for an amazing experience!

#weta #behindthescenes

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