Thomas Waterzooi
Based in Gent/Brussels, Belgium

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Please, Touch The Artwork is the project-name for a set of puzzling, zen, story-rich artful games & experiences. What happens when you DO touch the artwork? Part Zen-puzzle, part narrative-adventure, you'll explore the secret world behind iconic abstract paintings through over 150 puzzles. An aesthetic journey to the origins of modern art, set to a soothing jazzy soundtrack.


The idea behind this project is to take some of the most iconic abstract paintings, reverse engineer them and then add some gameplay. After that we looks for ways to put them in the public space and make them interactive art-games. Season 1 contains 2 installations each based on a unique painting. This section only describes the installations. For the game, click here.

  • Please, Touch The Artwork (like the project name)
  • Landscape Artist Without Landscape


There are two installations connected to this game (see pictures in image gallery)

Please, Touch The Artwork has the same name as the game. It works the best if there's none or few people around. The installation looks like a normal painting but seems to be affected by vandalism. The rope that should prevent you from coming to close is cut and there's a dirty handprint on the canvas. It triggers the fantasy of being able to touch the untouchable. The visitor starts doubting cultural norms (you normally can't touch paintings) and gets the feeling they are doing something naughty.

Landscape Artist Without Landscape is about the fantasy of landscape painting. You get out there with your easel, canvas, paint and brushes and install yourself somewhere on a nice meadow with a thermos full of hot coffee. Next you want to start painting but you realise: there is no landscape! In this installation you're the one creating the landscape.


  • Please, Touch The Artwork (installation)
    • Play the puzzle on a real painting
    • Finally a piece of art you can touch
    • So relaxing you'll never want to leave
  • Landscape Artist Without Landscape
    • Let your inner artist free and draw away
    • Enjoy the art of others
    • Build a forest together


In 2018 Thomas was reading a book called ‘What Are You Looking At’ by Will Gompertz. In Dutch (his mother tongue) the title was changed and it freely translates to ‘My little sister can do this as well. Why modern art is art.’ Thomas has a technical background but very artistical parents. He's always had a complex relation with modern art so this title triggered him. It’s an anecdotal and informative book which sketches the chronology of the origins of modern art, from the impressionists to the present. You go on a journey and read about where these artists lived and worked, who their friends were and what drove them to make their art. It was the period after postimpressionisme - the period of cubism, suprematism, the style - that attracted Thomas the most.

The avant-garde abstract artists are considered one of the pioneers of modern art. They reflected the rapidly industrializing society. All artists portrayed their own inner criticism and opinions on that society thus their art became very personal. It is precisely that aspect - the emergence of the path of the artist - that I find so exciting about this period.

During a night of light insomnia Thomas wanted to try writing a Mondrian-painting generator which randomly generated paintings in Mondrian's famouse Composition in Red, Blue, Yellow style. He thought it would be nice if the user could manipulate the paintings as a way of ‘becoming the artist’. A little puzzle mechanic was added and ‘Please, Touch The Artwork’ was born.


Sneakpeek prototype Please, Touch The Artwork - installation YouTube



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About Thomas Waterzooi

Thomas Waterzooi is a game director from Brussels. He previously worked on Divinity Original Sin (Larian Studios, Baldurs Gate) and Hitman (IO-Interactive ) before becoming a solo-developer in 2018. He focuses on making accessible interactive stories and playful things driven by art, culture, society and human interest. His games are not about skills or high-scores. They are about relaxing, reflecting, playful tinkering, and being sucked into the story and aesthetics (often referred to as "wholesome" or "cozy").

"Please, Touch The Artwork" is Thomas's first big solo project. It's a cozy puzzle game about touching abstract paintings (from Mondrian and the Style) and finding out what happens. It has received several awards and international nominations such as the Google Play Indie award 2022, Apple Design Award nomination, 2 Belgian Game Awards, and a Tokyo Game Show Best Art award. The game was also featured in '2022's best of'-lists in The Guardian and Eurogamer.

The sequel "Please, Touch The Artwork 2" is releasing in february 2024. This time it will be a hidden object adventure set in the paintings of James Ensor. The game was created with the support of the Flemish Government on the occasion of the Belgian EU Presidency 2024. The game will be available for free on Steam, Apple Appstore and Google Play.

More information
More information on Thomas Waterzooi, our logo & relevant media are available here.

Please, Touch The Artwork Installations Credits

Thomas Meynen
Design & Development, Studio Waterzooi

Lars Burgwal
Audio Engineer, Composer, Freelance

presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) - also thanks to these fine folks