In promoting the new Michael Chow aka Zhou Yinghua: Voice For My Father exhibition at The Andy Warhol Museum, MARC USA borrowed from the exhibition’s title and infused the campaign with dramatic images from China to show the influence of father on son.
Michael Chow, a world-renown artist, is also the Michael Chow behind the highly successful MR CHOW restaurant group. Voice For My Father at The Warhol is Chow’s first solo exhibition in the U.S. It features three main bodies of work, including new paintings completed expressly for The Warhol exhibition, vintage photographs of the artist’s father Zhou Xinfang – a grand master of the Beijing Opera – and a collection of portraits of Chow painted by his contemporaries, such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Ed Ruscha.
The integrated campaign created to promote the show includes:
- Striking posters and print ads that depict Chow in his painter’s gear – complete with respirator mask – while a giant-sized shadow image of an iconic Asian image appears behind him. The shadow image was created to symbolize the relationship between father, son and country. The headline reads: “No Small Canvas Could Contain His Larger-Than-Life Legacy.”
- A cinema ad
that brings the print ad concept to life, showing Chow walking to the center of the screen while the animated image of the Chinese Opera Singer rises behind him. Text urges viewers to “Explore Michael Chow’s past and the work it influenced” at The Warhol, a reference to the three-part scope of the exhibition.
- A live, interactive art installation in downtown Pittsburgh from April 21 – 23 where a special version of the video ad is being projected on the side of a prominent building in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. Passers-by can strike a theatrical pose in front of a green screen stationed just across the street, and their images will be superimposed over Chow’s shadow in the building projection. In a social component, the participants are invited to post photographs of their projected image with the hashtag “LegacyShadow.”
- Digital versions of the Print Ads.
“Our challenge with this campaign was to tell a story of the inspiration of old upon new. The shadow images we depict behind Chow refer to China’s history – an opera costume, a pagoda, a Chinese dragon – while the image in front is of Chow today,” explained Bryan Hadlock, MARC USA Chief Creative Officer. “The ads have a theatricality to them that captures the personality of the man and his work.”
“This ad campaign does a wonderful job of capturing the essence and depth of this exhibition and the artist," said Eric Shiner, director of The Warhol. "Michael Chow is directly influenced by his past and his father's legacy, echoed through the exhibition title and reinforced through this performative campaign showcasing elements of his father's past."
The exhibition at The Warhol represents Chow’s return to painting after a nearly 50-year sabbatical. It was conceived as an homage to the artist’s father and is anchored by several of Chow’s large-scale paintings. Chow was born in Shanghai in 1939, and he now resides in California. Chow studied painting at the Saint Martin’s School of Art and then at the Hammersmith School of Building and Architecture, both in London, before changing course and opening his first restaurant, MR CHOW, in 1968, which became an international success, spawning locations around the globe.
“Working with The Warhol is a creative dream come true for our agency,” explained Michele Fabrizi, President and CEO of MARC USA and also Chairman of the Board of The Warhol. “When you have the opportunity to celebrate true original artists, it provides a palette for us as an agency to flex our creative muscles.”