A stunning coating project that has doused a rusting Soviet-era pipe factory in pop color has been captured in a remarkable time-lapse movie by a Russian filmmaker.
A political statement as much as an aesthetic one, the video by Moscow-based filmmaker Sasha Aleksandrov shows the incredible transformation of a Sverdlovsk pipe manufacturing complex—pipes, tanks, rails, roads and all—from a mammoth rusting hulk of Communist gray to a playful, colorful work of modern art.
Aleksandrov “filmed workers as they systematically painted every inch of the enormous factory, and the end result is a captivating journey to rediscover color in a post-Soviet Russia,” reports the Russian news service URA.
According to colossal.com, Aleksandrov “shot everything by hand over a period of two months without the use of a Steadicam or camera track slider—meaning he would move the camera and tripod every few feet, capture some footage, repeat 50 times, then used software to stabilize the final shots.”
New Mill, New Demand
URA describes the new look of the plant—now the Pervouralsk New Pipe Plant—as a “giant art object.”
|The old factory now resembles a “large art gallery,” a Russian news service said.|
The new paint job heralded the opening of a mini-mill called Iron Ozone 32 on the site, URA reported. When the ChTPZ Group, a leading industrial group in the Russian metallurgical sector, purchased the site for the new mill, shareholders wanted the exteriors painted to signal the facility’s 21st-century capabilities.
That included coating more than 2,500 square meters (almost 27,000 square feet) of pipe alone.
The company responded with designers, artists and painters. The project took more than 200 tons of paint.
| The video shows Russia’s colorful rebirth—even in industrial manufacturing—in the post-Soviet era.|
Sverdlovsk is a highly industrial region, home to three of Russia’s seven major pipe manufacturing factories, reports Anna Balashova, an analyst with Marchmont Capital Partners.
“In Soviet times,” she notes, “pipe mills had very specific specializations—a legacy that lives on today.”
Recently, demand for pipes—especially oil and gas pipes—has “significantly increased across the economy,” Balashova reports.