Friday, 13 December 2013
For the last month and a half, I've working on designs for the new Ping Pong restaurant, next to Wembley Stadium, North London. For anyone that doesn't know much about Ping Pong, they're an international restaurant chain that specialise in Dim sum. And for this project I've been working in conjunction with Andy Martin Architects who have done an amazing job on the look and feel of the building.
After numerous ideas and sketches (some of them a bit more out there than others) we settled upon a 1930's Shanghai influence for my mural design, as this tied in with the over-all vibe of the restaurant. My approach to the mural was to paint it in such a way that it looks as though the design has been up on the wall for years, and faded, and flaking off in places. This was easier to achieve in the flat areas of colour, such as the stylised, blue and white, cloud element, but a bit trickier with the tonal areas of the figure. But I'm very happy with how it turned out.
As well as the mural, I also hand-painted five large wall panels for the ladies and gents. The original designs for these were quite adventurous but in the end we realised that something a little more toned-down would work best in these areas. So I came up with a subtler image that was a sort of contemporary take on a fairly traditional oriental flower and stem design.
The piece that I most enjoyed working on during this project is a massive, 20 metre-long light box that hangs from the ceiling, in the centre of the restaurant. For this I came up with a predominantly aquatic themed design, incorporating drawings of jellyfish, octopuses, fish, seaweed, and weird forms, morphing together. This is the part of the project into which I feel I was able to inject more of my own style, and therefore really go to town on it.
Unfortunately the light box had not been installed by the time that I finished the mural so I don't have any photos of it yet. In fact, when I return in the New Year (to complete another mural for a private dinning area that has been built on-site), that will be the first time that I get to see the fully constructed light box. But until I go back and take some photos, here's a preliminary drawing that I made for one element of the piece, just to give you a feel for it. The actual light box design is quite brightly coloured, so that's another thing that I'm eagerly anticipating seeing.