Fantastic fiction, fab design

Fantastic fiction, fab design

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cyberport, wai yee man
Photo: Cyberport. Illustration: Wai-Yee Man

Sci-fi fans should head to Cyberport for an exhibition by the artist and designer behind some of the finest special effects in the movies, writes Wong Yat-hei

If you are a science fiction fan, don't miss out on Dr Grordbort's Exceptional Exhibition, which features more than 150 artworks created by Weta Workshop artist and designer Greg Broadmore.

He was the leading conceptual designer at New Zealand's Weta Workshop, a famous special effects studio in the film industry.

He has participated in many Hollywood blockbusters, such as District 9, King Kong, The Chronicles of Narnia and many others. He has also launched his own science fiction comic series, Dr Grordbort.

The exhibition will feature the fictitious universe of Dr Grordbort, created by Broadmore in his spare time while working on King Kong. The series was the product of Broadmore's lifetime love of science fiction.

The collection of exhibits includes Dr Grordbort comics, paintings, sculptures and props. Dr Grordbort has made Rayguns - toy weapons - popular among science fiction fans all over the world.

At present, the Dr Grordbort series comprises two books published by Dark Horse Comics, several Raygun collectibles, hundreds of illustrations, digital paintings and sculptures, many of which are on display at the exhibition.

In a workshop held last Thursday at Cyberport, Broadmore talked to filmmakers and students about his fabulous design career.

Broadmore's route to success has been long and winding. He has enjoyed drawing very much and has been reading and drawing comics since he was a child. However, he never went to art school, and remained unemployed for a long time before getting a chance to do design for the blockbuster movie Lord of the Rings.

When asked what he would say to youngsters who want to become a designer like him, he has a simple bit of advice: 'draw all the time. It doesn't matter if you are not using the computer, just a pencil and a piece of paper will do.

'Although I am very into science fiction, I often refer to science books when I am looking for ideas. A successful designer has to be familiar with the real world. You have to know about science and history. You cannot create good design just by looking at the artworks of others, but have to take a look at how the real world works.'

Broadmore says he gets inspiration for his design everywhere. 'I get ideas from what I see and hear. A lot of it comes from the natural environment.'

Broadmore believes that the success of a movie lies in the story and the characters. 'People come to see a story and not the special effects,' he said. I grew up watching Jackie Chan's films, and his movies told some of the most amazing stories. Even now with all the new technologies and a much bigger budget the movie could not be made any better.'

Leung Ching-lung, a first-year student from Hong Kong Polytechnic University's School of Design, was deeply impressed by the Broadmore's works. 'The illustrations and designs of Broadmore are highly sophisticated and very detailed,' he said. 'They were beautiful, and considering that he did not receive any formal training in art he is just super.'

The exhibition is free and open to the public from now until May at The Arcade, Cyberport

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