The Silver Paintings Series for Zaha Hadid
In 2001 I read an article about how computer technologies were becoming a transforming force in contemporary architecture. I was living in Malaysia and working as a CGI creative director in the film industry. Basically I used the same technologies and became intrigued with several aspects of it. I decided to speak with ZHA's Patrik Schumacher, one of the architects mentioned in the article. We met and spoke about my experiences in the new digital technologies. As a result of that meeting, I was commissioned by Zaha to create a new series of drawings and paintings. A body of work which could also include three dimensional objects. We collaborated and knew each other since 1988, and agreed that this new work should reflect this transitioning moment of architecture. We also agreed that it should result in a hybrid of painting and digital work.
When I started experimenting with materials and techniques I realised the renderings were very basic compared to the ones I worked in the Film industry. They were far from realistic, so I decided to try a radical intervention by combining analogue drawings,with printing techniques and the use of air-brushes and spray-guns. As I couldn't achieve(and I didn't want to!)a photorealistic aesthetic I decided to embrace the painterly treatment .
The ‘Silver Paintings’ showcases Zaha's discipline in a new light and medium. The title of the series refers to the surface of the works, which in their raw state resemble polished metal or mirrors, an effect created with a polyester skin treated with chrome and gelatine and then di-bonded.
Initially, the images are digitally generated, then photographed in their virtual state. Once the images were printed I hand-painted in a medium that complemented the subject. I used stained glass paint (which creates the transparent and cathedral like feel), acrylic and Chinese lacquer (Opaque and POP qualities) or UV resistant ink combined with Vinyl (highly reflective). These techniques combine to suggest a gradual intersection between reflectivity and opacity, from one architectural feature to the next.
The ‘Silver Paintings’ also acted as a ‘real-time’ painted-report, a documented page in the diary of Zaha Hadid's exquisite architecture. In total I've created a series of more than 200 of these Silver Paintings
THE SILVER PAINTINGS exhibited at the Buchmann Galerie-Berlin, Guggenheim Museum New York, Chanel Pavilion at the IMA-Paris, Artist's studio
The "Silver Paintings" series are in total 120 large size paintings(200cmx90cm). They are hybrids combining print, drawing and painting techniques, mixing digital to hand made work.
Much have been written and spoken about this body of work, and many exhibitions took place in venues such as Kenny-Schachter Rove-London, Buchmann Galerie-Berlin, Max Protetch-New York, the Guggenheim-NYC, Reina Sofia, The IMA-Paris, Design Museum London and other prestigious art, architecture and design venues in Europe and abroad.