Weta Workshop exhibition heads to China
27 Nov 2009
New Zealand’s award winning special effects company Weta Workshop is taking an exhibition of unique work to Chengdu, China, in a bid to support Sichuan earthquake relief efforts.
The Exceptional Exhibition, a collection of art, props and sculpture, has been organised by special effects entrepreneur Richard Taylor.
The exhibition will also première fine art paintings from New Zealand artist Greg Broadmore, the creator of Dr Grordbort’s - a collection developed with Taylor and partner Tania Rodger.
Chengdu is in Sichuan province, and all ticket profits from the exhibition will be donated to the relief fund set up to help people affected by the 2008 earthquake.
The five Academy Awards that Richard Taylor and the Weta Workshop team won for Lord of the Rings and King Kong will also be on display.
The main feature of the exhibition is the work of Greg Broadmore, creator of the fictional universe of Dr Grordbort’s and the Infallible Aether Oscillators which have been developed by Weta Workshop as a line of art collectibles.
The ray-guns are 1:1 scale antique-styled sci-fi hand weapon props, evoking the nostalgia of a lost age of exploration and discovery.
Taylor, Rodger and Broadmore, who have developed Dr Grordbort’s into the areas of merchandising and publishing, say they hope to create a feature film as well.
The Exceptional Exhibition will run from 5 December to 15 January, 2010 at the Sichuan Provincial Museum, in Chengdu.
A VIP opening involving New Zealand and Chinese dignitaries will be held on 4 December. They will be joined by film and art community luminaries.
After the exhibition closes in Chengdu, Weta Workshop intends travelling the Dr Grordbort’s artwork around the world though future venues have not yet been announced.
Richard Taylor and Greg Broadmore will also host a series of public lectures while they are in Chengdu, focusing on the pursuit of art as a career.
"It is a series of lectures and tutorials that will hopefully help the young people who come and visit the exhibition and attend the talks to appreciate the possibilities of a career within film or television," Taylor said.
There will be special effects make-up and sculpture demonstrations and lectures on animation, make-up, costuming, design and sculpture.
It would be a chance to showcase the New Zealand film industry and look for allegiances between the two industries, Taylor said.
"The Chinese film industry is growing at a significant speed and they will eventually want to make international pictures. To that end it would be fantastic if they considered New Zealand as a destination for their work," Taylor said.
Conception of Dr Grordbort’s
Dr Grordbort’s is the product of a lifetime love of science fiction.
It began as a series of nine acrylic paintings of ray-guns that Broadmore created in his spare time while working on King Kong.
Broadmore is an illustrator, writer and conceptual designer for Weta Workshop who has worked on District 9, King Kong, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and many other films.
The sci-fi universe has evolved as a concept in recent years, but Grordbort Industries remains fixed in an historical time when ray-guns were the essential accessory for intrepid explorers, Weta says.
Taylor and Broadmore decided to transform the paintings into art objects or collectibles as a new venture for Weta Workshop, which had been creating licensed collectibles from its film work. The project harks back to the classic sci-fi serials of yesteryear, and the books reveal the back stories and mythos of the collectibles line.
Dr Grordbort’s now spans two books, several ray-gun collectors’ pieces, hundreds of illustrations, digital paintings and sculptures, and the potential of a motion picture in the near future.
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