Sophie Mei has designed sets for feature & short films, photography & live performance; recent work includes stage design for Lucinda Chua at Southbank Centre and set design for ‘Portrait of a Dancer: Max Cookward’ commissioned by Nowness.
In 2019 Sophie Mei co-founded Bad Weather [formerly SLO], an interdisciplinary art, scenography & architecture collective; projects include a temporary cinema and floating lake house commission in Crato, Portugal and a restaurant & arts performance space in Vilvoorde, Belgium.
/// LUCINDA CHUA X SOUTHBANK 2022 ///
Stage design and sculpture for Lucinda Chua's performance at The Purcell Room, Southbank Centre and Pitchfork Festival at Earth Hackney.
The sculpture was inspired by the Moon Gate forms which originated in Chinese gardens and the idea of a portal. The installation was also the set for 'Joyride' an evening of performances programmed by ESEA sisters at the Southbank Centre.
Photography: Milo Van Giap, Derek Bremner, Dani Bolton & Southbank Centre
/// PORTRAIT OF A DANCER X NOWNESS 2022 ///
Set design for Portrait of a Dancer: Max Cookward commissioned by Nowness.
''Harry Bowley directs a character study of the queer movement artist, reflecting their transformative journey through dance. In its fluidity, and the roles embodied to project deep emotions through performance, movement is a catalyst for growth. For rising dance talent Max Cookward, experiments in movement have run parallel to their own personal journey – a gateway through which they have expanded their understanding of self, via gender-identity, queerness, and the development in movement which facilitates their process'' - Nowness
/// MOONSCREEN X WAKING LIFE 2022///
Design and build of a temporary lakeside cinema in Crato, Portugal. Inspired by moon craters we made cob from the earth to re-landscape the ground into an undulating terrain creating dips and mounds for people to sit, lean and lie while watching a programme of films with a live musical score. The circular area was enclosed by a curtain to provide a sense of permeable enclosure while referencing traditional theatre aesthetics.
/// HORST 2020 ///
In 2020 we created an arts performance venue + restaurant as part of HORST festival's 'Almost Together' programme. In an open-roof warehouse on a former military base in Vilvoorde, Belgium we built a central water feature that was adaptable for the summer programme of events including restaurant dining, workshops, opera and sleeping concerts. We used reclaimed tiles from a past stage, and planted greenery with the view that it will continue to grow over the coming years. Since 2020 the installation has been repurposed as a food court and festival stage.
Press: Cement, Resident Advisor, DeMorgen, HLN Image
Photography: Illias Teirlinck + Noa Stulens