Compassion is a 3D lenticular portrait of the Dalai Lama created for his 80th birthday in 2015.
As a highly sought-after contemporary artist, you may have chanced upon Chris Levine's light-synthesising works in ads for global brands like Chanel, Swarovski and BMW. The British light artist now comes to us directly with some of his most iconic works -- trippy portraits of famous humans like Kate Moss, HM Queen Elizabeth II and the Dalai Lama -- for his first solo exhibition in Thailand. It's an exhibition all levels of art appreciators can surely enjoy, so we had to catch up with Chris to learn more about his fascinating style and process as well as future and hypothetical projects.
How did you discover your form of art?
I feel I'm still on a journey of discovery into new forms of expression and sensory experiences. The discovery is a process of searching for truth.
What was it like to work with such important figures like the Queen and Dalai Lama, and how did you come across the opportunity?
Aside from the great privilege and honour, it was quite a responsibility to do justice to the commission as the expectations just get higher and higher. For both commissions, I was put forward by curators and luckily both projects resulted in strong work.
How long does it take to make a 3D portrait? Can you walk us through the process?
There's a lot of pre-production and setting up. I know what I'm looking to create and invariably I'm trying to distil the work into pure essence. We use a camera that moves along a track to shoot the different angles, and we use a lenticular lens that creates the stro image perceived as 3D. As I only had the Dalai Lama for 15 minutes, I had to go straight into achieving the shot -- the image -- that was in my mind.
What do you find most striking about Thailand?
I've been to Thailand many times and have great memories. I love the people and the land. I like that there is a spiritual feeling in the air.
If you were going to make a 3D portrait depicting something from Thai culture, what would it be?
I guess I would take it into the realm of spirituality -- not religion -- and work with the iconography of light and well-being. It might take me into a temple to create the work -- or a beach?
What are you working on now or next?
I have several portraits lined up. I'm working on the iy_project -- large immersive laser installations that are to do with seeing sound and hearing image. We are also working on a large installation at the Eden Project in Cornwall UK to create a work that brings us to the realisation that we are a part of nature, not apart from it.
Gaze upon Levine's collection of holographic portraits as well as an experimental film piece at Nova Contemporary from now until Sep 15. The gallery is located on Ratchadamri Road and is open Tue-Sun, 11am-7pm.