Wuyuan ushers 五原路上的伴郎
24cms (W) x 20cms (H)
Oil on Panel
I had a really interesting experience with this paining; the management company that owns my apartment (Maison Shanghai) asked me if i'd like to be interviewed for a corporate promotional video.
"Sure, why not".
"Great, the team will be there on tuesday evening at 7pm"
On Tuesday at 7, I was a bit surprised when one guy arrived without a camera and just started to chat to me about what I did. I've done corporate videos before and there's often an interviewer/director and a cameraman; sometimes you get someone who does lights and make-up. The director said he was a documentary maker and was going to make a film about the moments that make up life and he wanted to represent my moments in this film. We got chatting about the fact that I was painting a lot in China.
"It would be great if you could do a painting for the video, so we can show it being developed"
"We'll be back to film on saturday, it should take 6 hours"
So I chose an image that I thought I could paint quickly, but also represented something of my experience in Shanghai. In the area I live in, many people get their wedding photographs taken and i'd taken some photos of the trees, shadows on the yellow walls and also some ushers taking a cigarette break during a photoshoot. This would be perfect.
On Saturday, a crew of around 8 arrived with a serious assortment of equipment, and I had a good 20 minutes in make-up. In the few days in between Tuesday and Saturday i'd taken the painting to about 25% completion (quick for me). Part way through the shoot, the director asked me what time I thought I would finish the painting as he wanted to film the final piece.
"What time? You mean today? Erm, I can't finish it today."
"Oh" (disappointedly), "well I guess we can edit everything else, can you finish the rest of it by the week after next?"
To cut a long story short, I managed to turn it around quickly (much quicker than i'd usually do something) which required a lot of quick decisions, and cutting back on the level of detail i'd normally put in. This was actually a good learning experience for me. I ended up meeting the deadline and the video was successful; so much so that a few weeks later a friend of mine text me a picture of my face on the TV screens on a flight between Hong Kong and Shanghai, and several others saw it on other flights they were on. Crazy....