Extended universe


In the Mood for Art, was a collaborative project to deep dive into the COVID-19 lockdown. Organised by Stephane FERRERO, French fashion, advertising & art photographer based in Shanghai, for REVVER Magazine.

Despite the fact that there were no Covid mandatory confinement in Japan, I received a number of invitations for collaboration from artists who were dealing with this situation in their own country.

For Revver, we decided to combine body painting and a photography to create a series of powerful images that captured the feeling of isolation and the growing threat of the virus. The “body painting” portion would be completed this time in post-production, on top of the photographic work, as it was obviously done remotely. It was also decided that a short fiction text would accompany the pictures to give them more depth.

The story revolves around a person who is alone in his apartment and notices a virus growing on his skin as well as the skin of his neighbour. As the virus spreads, the person becomes increasingly isolated until he meets his neighbour and forms a connection.

During a time of crisis, the collaboration was an effective way to convey the sense of isolation as well as the power of connection. We were able to develop a short visual story that spoke to the pandemic experience using “body painting”, text and photography. The project was powerful, and it conveyed the theme of how the pandemic caused isolation while also bringing people together in a unique way.

Chinese model with maze body painting -  by baptiste Tavernier and Stephane Ferreroartistic nudenaked Chinese model on a sofa with maze body painting -  by baptiste Tavernier and Stephane Ferreroartistic nudeChinese model wearing mask with maze body painting -  by baptiste Tavernier and Stephane Ferreroartistic nudeNaked Chinese model with maze body painting -  by baptiste Tavernier and Stephane FerreroStephane Ferrero

&LOG  ..#317
I noticed it for the first time yesterday, as I went to bed, on my shoulder, a small dark wave. It grew. It looks more like a flowing web this morning, just larger.

&LOG  ..#318
I’d never realised how empty it was, my apartment, despite all the junk. Full of stuff, devoid of substance… I think boredom is going to get me, unless that dark stuff does the job faster. Dunno what it is… It grows.  

&LOG  ..#319
Didn’t do anything yesterday… Carrousel of kinetic junk, and I pay for it every month. Go figure… Ah! I heard my neighbour crying. I don’t like her anyway.

&LOG  ..#320
I went to see her this morning. Not that I was concerned… Just annoyed by the whining. She showed it to me. It’s like “mine”: a complex network of lines; noires. It grows.

&LOG  ..#321
Couldn’t find anything online about it. It’s like a germ. It grows, and that all it does actually. No pain, no fever, no symptoms. It just grows.

&LOG  ..#322
Nothing to do anyway, so I decided to give some substance back to my burrow: dumping away all the rubbles of my “memories”. I found my old film camera in a box. Completely forgot about that stuff. Only 7 frames left.

&LOG  ..#323
My neighbour’s name’s Lucy. Dunno why I never cared to ask. She’s bored too. We agreed we’d have fun with the camera. Filling the void… She’s actually pretty. Dunno why I never cared to look.

&LOG  ..#324
Still growing, still no pain, no fever. It just grows… We finished the roll.

Filles d'Ariane

In my artistic journey, I have always been fascinated by the graphic qualities of mazes and labyrinths, and I have explored this subject matter in various mediums. In this recent collaboration, I decided to experiment with body painting techniques as an extension of my earlier works. The goal of this project was to create elaborate and intricate mazes on the model’s body, and the challenge was to find the most efficient way to do this.

At the beginning of this project, we were not entirely sure about the direction that the works would take, but as we started experimenting, the mazes began to take on the appearance of intriguing tattoos or a mysterious affliction growing and spreading under the skin. The process of creating these mazes is time-consuming, taking sometimes hours to complete, so I needed to find a tool that would allow me to draw quickly and accurately while also being comfortable for the model.

After experimenting with various materials, I found that eye liner was the best option. The fine brushes of the eye liner allowed me to create thin, accurate lines that mimicked the look of a tattoo. Additionally, eye liner is perspiration and rub resistant, which means that it stays in place for longer periods of time, and it is easy to remove with the correct lotion. This made it the perfect tool for this project, as it allowed me to create intricate and detailed mazes in a relatively short period of time.

For this project, I collaborated with Taiwan-based French photographer Patrice Delmote.

Maze body painting by baptiste tavernierMaze body painting by baptiste tavernierMaze body painting by baptiste tavernierMaze body painting by baptiste tavernierMaze body painting by baptiste tavernierMaze body painting by baptiste tavernierMaze body painting by baptiste tavernierMaze body painting by baptiste tavernier

The Labyrinth

This music video is a journey into the forgotten, a glimpse into time through the lens of decay. The song was written by Yuan Ru Hsieh, a Taiwanese singer, and I was tasked with building the music.
Yann Moreau, a filmmaker and friend of mine, and a haikyo enthusiast, was the perfect collaborator for this project. He brought his passion for these abandoned structures and his eye for capturing their unique energy and atmosphere to the project.

Lyrics: Hsieh Yuan Ru
Music: Baptiste Tavernier, Hsieh Yuan Ru.
Video: Yann Moreau
Mixed by Phil Delire.


Haikyo in Japanese stands for abandoned and forgotten buildings or machinery. Haikyo always create a very elusive fascination, and have become the playground of many urbex aficionados around the world. They also generated a new distinctive current in modern photography. Some haikyo are well-known internationally, while others remain secret, with explorers never willing to reveal their location. Finding a good ruin is like finding a treasure, and it’s best to keep it to yourself sometimes.

In Taiwan, there are many striking haikyo to discover, from the crumbling towers around Taipei to the overgrown theme parks in the south. These ruins stand as a testament to the passing of time and, on the other hand, to the corruption that sometimes plagues local governments and infrastructure and heavy construction companies. Haykyo in Taiwan are often left unguarded, making them easily accessible for exploration and and re-appropriation.
In this video, we explored two major haikyo: the Linkou Lightning Building, an unfinished tower mansion near Taipei, famous for its strange architecture and its open staircase that accesses all the floors up to about 50. It is quite a scary climb. The other haikyo is in the south of the country, a theme park swallowed by nature, a maze of rusting rides and crumbling mascots.

But even though a haikyo may be a forsaken location, it is often teeming with life and creativity. Street artists and musicians are drawn to these abandoned spaces, using them as canvases for their art and stages for their performances. The graffiti-covered walls of the Linkou Lightning Building are a prime example of this, with entire floors transformed into vibrant and dynamic works of art. These haikyo are not just abandoned ruins, but also cultural hotspots, where new forms of expression and creativity are born. They represent a unique opportunity for artists to push the boundaries of their medium and to make an impact on the world in a way that traditional art spaces may not allow.

Behin the scene

Since the title of the song is The Labyrinth, we wanted to incorporate a real maze into the music video. We were fortunate to find a small hedge maze near Yuanshan station in Taipei, although it was not in the best condition. It was almost like a haikyo of a hedge maze, hidden away in the midst of the urban sprawl. This maze was the perfect location to capture the essence of the song, the twists and turns of life, the challenges and obstacles, etc. But we needed to incorporate at least one more, and decided to paint a maze in the tower, somehow, onto a wall near the top floor.