Making the J.LIU Mural

On one of my visits to Jason and Tina's home, their sons George and Gordan offered me a viewing of their artwork. They were, at the time, 8 and 5 respectively.

The artwork they shared with me was wonderfully joyous, spontaneous, surreal, abstract and yet still representational. I shared with Jason and Tina then that I thought the work was wonderful and inspired beyond the children’s' years. At that time I shared with Jason that their work was similar to the Joan Miro pieces that we placed in the Dublin location.

A year or two later, as we were designing the Worthington location, we had a design idea that employed a very long angled wall as an organizing element that ran the length of the entire first floor Dining and Bar areas. We knew this element would need a strong visual presence to knit together the very different spaces through which it runs.

We needed to develop a visual element that was unique, yet related to the theme of the art pieces from the Dublin location, the Joan Miro work (as an extension of the prototype identity). George and Gordans' art came to mind. Being children, their work was everything I mentioned above plus, un-self-conscious as well. In fact it was what Miro strove for in his "recreation of the childlike". We approached Jason about creating a mural featuring George and Gordan's artwork - he welcomed the idea.

Making of the mural became a fun exercise for my entire staff :

We gathered many of George and Gordans' pieces and brought them into our office.

We viewed them all and identified elements of the work we thought would be useful in a larger scale visual piece.

The pieces were all individually scanned and edited to isolate the parts we enjoyed most.

The scale of the wall made it necessary to have a larger compositional theme so that the piece was not just a texture of small pieces. Though it is not evident in the final work, the larger compositional ideas are informed by the ancient Chinese "River and Mountain" paintings. In fact several served as a background until well into the process.

At a critical point tin the process, we decided to drop the literal "River and Stream" backgrounds and create a larger scale framework in a character consistent with the world of Joan Miro, George and Gordan Liu. The idea of the two scales being to create interest from a distance and from up close (sitting next to the mural).

Just for fun, we composed the large-scale framework entirely of geometric shapes pulled from Bass Studio Architects' Jason’s (J. Liu) and other BSA projects.

After the whole was composed and approved, we had the entire work printed on vinyl panels and installed on the wall.