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Auspicious symbols and homophonic puns

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  • Projection mapping - Prosperity Multiplies a Hundredfold

    Projection mapping "Prosperity Multiplies a Hundredfold"

    • City University of Hong Kong
    • 2018

    The vase of flowers in the paper scroll painting Prosperity Multiplies a Hundredfold has been enlarged and 3D-printed as a white bas relief. The bats painted on that vase are now projection-mapped onto this bas relief. When a viewer approaches the vase, these projected bats become animated and appear to fly excitedly around, after which they settle again into their original painted positions.

  • Cats and Butterflies in Springtime

    • Shen Zhenlin, Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
    • Album leaf, ink and colors with gold on paper, 28.5cm (H) x 32.9cm (W)
    • Facsimile

    Shen Zhenlin (artist name Fengchi), a native of Wuxian (modern Suzhou, Jiangsu) served the Qing court Painting Academy in the Xianfeng (1851-1861) and Tongzhi reigns (1861-1874). He specialized in figures and portraits but also excelled at sketching birds and flowers from life as well as landscapes. Famous for his painting, Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908) awarded him a plaque that she personally inscribed: "To a miraculous hand that transmits the spirit".

    In ancient times, people used the homonym of "cat" and "butterfly" for "octogenarian" and "septuagenarian" to express birthday wishes for a venerated elder. This work is composed of two albums rendered with gold and other mineral-based pigments on black paper to depict cats and butterflies playing and roaming among flowers of the seasons. The rich and exquisite paintings, with colors set off against a dark background, are especially lively, adorable and eye-catching.

  • Animal-themed artefacts

    Animal-themed artefacts

    • City University of Hong Kong
    • 2018
    • Object movies & 3D interactive objects

    There are now new ways to create digital facsimiles of art objects, and these have enabled the curator to create displays that interactively present invaluable animal-related artefacts from the collection of the National Palace Museum for this exhibition. "Photogrammetry" enables objects to be digitized in 3D and then manipulated in virtual reality, while "videogrammetry" allows artefacts to be shown as "object movies" that can be rotated and viewed from all sides.

  • The Golden Calf

    The Golden Calf

    • Jeffrey Shaw
    • 1994 / 2018

    In this pioneering 1994 augmented reality artwork, the viewer handholds a video screen that shows a computer-generated golden calf standing on top of a physical pedestal situated in the exhibition space. Moving the screen around the pedestal allows the viewer to examine this virtual golden calf from all angles. While the biblical golden calf is an idolatrous object of animal worship, the golden calf in this artwork can be interpreted as the veneration of technology whose immateriality is both compelling and uncanny.

    In the 2018 version of the Golden Calf, four tiny cameras embedded in the pedestal enables the live video image of the exhibition environment and its inhabitants to be mirrored onto the golden skin of the calf.