MB: I wanted to talk to you about the subject of collaboration between artist and brand and, more specifically, the notion of constraint in art. When I asked you to create an immersive installation that would welcome the public, even though your work, at the time, was mainly intended for the digital world, what was your very first reaction?
QD: It was a real opportunity to bring my digital creations into a physical and real universe, to break the barrier of the screen and immerse the audience in my universe. It allowed me to push my ideas even further.
MB: You had to deal with quite a few constraints, notably the location, which you were unable to visit at the beginning of your creative process, but also technical and budgetary constraints; under which constraint was it the most complicated to work?
QD: One of the most important aspects of my job is to get the audience to travel. Whether it’s emotional or sensory, I try to take people to a corner of their imagination that is totally different from the physical space they are in. The constraint in the Red Galleria was to get the audience to detach themselves from the place for a moment, to immerse themselves in an alternative reality, even if it’s for five minutes only.
MB: You created an immersive experience composed of four different visual worlds. What was your working method?
QD: I wanted to visually translate the different sensory stages that make up the tasting of a Campari cocktail. The experience starts with an intro anchored in Campari’s roots, with animations of architectural motifs based on the Piazza del Duomo in Milan.
The audience then finds itself (virtually) with its feet in the water, which represents the freshness of the first sip … and then finds itself in a maze of doors and windows evoking the possibilities available to us and echoing the Unlock the Unexpected brand signature. The experience ends with a space journey through a starry sky evoking the climax of this sensory journey.
MB: Today, you make music videos, advertising films for brands, artists … For you, do constraints abolish all forms of improvisation in the creative process?
QD: No, for me, constraints force the mind to find solutions that give rise to new ideas. They also provide a framework for creative thinking. Without this limit, it’s more difficult to stop on a concept or an idea.
MB: Can you refuse a project because of overly complex constraints?
QD: Only if I feel that the constraints stifle creativity and go against my principles.
MB: Your work immediately reminded me of the world of James Turrell. Can you tell us which artists inspire you?
QD: Turrell has always been an artist that I admire and I had the chance to see some of his work on Naoshima Island in Japan. In the same vein, I admire the installations of Leandro Erlich who manipulates reality to make it playful and confusing. On the photographic side, I follow Daniel Sannwald’s work very closely, very much focused on color, like my own.
MB: What installations have impressed you the most?
QD: The installations of the “teamLab” collective in Tokyo, which immerse the public in digital installations, and particularly the one called Planet, which goes barefoot and plays on our sensory perceptions.