Designer, fine artist, and printer Michael FilesHelps chefs create beautiful environments that enhance guest dining experiences. The University of HawaiʻiMnoa alumnus received a BFAIn printmaking from the College of Arts, Languages, and Letters (CALL) in 2007 and went on to find an alluring niche as a creative director tasked with setting the atmosphere at restaurants. One of his most recent projects is Indian street food eatery. Chai PaniIn Asheville, North Carolina. The restaurant is ranked among the best in North Carolina. New York TimesTop 50 in America, displays Files flavour
“It is great to be paid to do creative things. The root of [my design for restaurants]It is my love of India and street culture. I love what goes on every day in India. My main satisfaction comes from the experience of shepherding people and ideas through the process of building a space out, making it interesting, and helping other people, including chefs and restaurateurs, to build their brand and bring in the human experience,” Files said.
Files combines the variety of skills he has developed for his own art practice that began during his days at UH Mnoa. Mnoa.
“When I look back at it now, its almost like Ive been doing the same thing I now do professionally.”
While he began to study art in his first semester, he also took courses outside of his major like Hawaiian Studies which increased his appreciation for other cultures. Files commends Charlie Cohan, UHMnoa professor in printmaking helped him make a decision between design and printmaking during his senior year. His final memory was his greatest. BFAExhibition where he integrated elements of performance into his printmaking.
Future plans for Files remain in flux. Chai Pani just returned from a trip through Central America and Mexico. He is now working with Chai Pani to open the next location. He has other projects in the works for Saladita, a small surf town on the west coast.