Process

Talk

Concept

Embrace in Progress is a series of sculptures that reveals the intimate and infinite feeling of an embrace.
It is inspired by my research about time, 3D scanning technology, and personal experiences with physical intimacy. 

This is a photo of me and my father at the airport when I left for New York, and that’s how he hugged me. There was a lot of silence and empty space growing up, and this is the same for lots of people in my culture.
At a workshop two years ago I had to have someone embrace me for 5 straight minutes, these 5 minutes felt infinite and I couldn’t describe it in words. I felt bodily disconnected even though I was captured in someone’s arms. I am interested to see how technology can help me give a voice to this loss of physical contact, to show how it distorts my sense of time, 
and the sense of enclosure around my stillness. And that inspired my piece, Embrace in Progress.
Embrace in Progress is a series of sculptures that reveals the intimate and infinite feeling of an embrace. It is inspired by my research about time, 3D scanning technology, and personal experiences with physical intimacy. This is a photo of me and my father at the airport when I left for New York, and that’s how he hugged me. There was a lot of silence and empty space growing up, and this is the same for lots of people in my culture. At a workshop two years ago I had to have someone embrace me for 5 straight minutes, these 5 minutes felt infinite and I couldn’t describe it in words. I felt bodily disconnected even though I was captured in someone’s arms. I am interested to see how technology can help me give a voice to this loss of physical contact, to show how it distorts my sense of time, and the sense of enclosure around my stillness. And that inspired my piece, Embrace in Progress.
Embrace in Progress started with the attempt to answer these questions: Things we experience are not single moments. Intimacy does not occur in a single moment; it’s the act of being close and further away over time between people. It is something irrational and time based, and I wonder how I can preserve it as a static object. Since my residency at NYU, I’ve been thinking about these in the context of new technology. How are human experiences such as emotion and time perceived by machines? Could I express emotion and time in a new way? I also wonder – how I can incorporate the dimension of time with tools such as photography, and combine it with new capturing modeling techniques. Through the process, I want to see what artifacts are produced when information travels through dimensions. Can the machine unveil something for us? My past projects revolve around collaging the organic human qualities with photogrammetry. Skin Deep is a project where the body is treated as a canvas for drawing. Besides layering handcrafted elements on top of a 3D scan, it’s fascinating to see people draw how they see, back onto my body.
Another example is a photo book I made called Still Life, it is environmental portraits, re-appropriated from 3D models uploaded to 123D catch, a photogrammetry software. I like how the computer makes sense and unpacks the 3D world, and all the details, and narrative brings from the 2 dimensional image, it’s almost like the technology helps illuminate what otherwise would be ignored in a scene, that ability is what I am interested in developing.
The technique I found particularly interesting is photogrammetry. The process of it requires the object being captured to be completely still. Similar to early photography, 3D scans have lifeless qualities just like still life paintings. And I wonder, what are other ways to add human elements into the scan?
Photogrammetry also acts as a transition between photos and sculptures, and they all have their ways to convey motion. 
My mission for this project is to improvise a way for these two still mediums, to document time and intimate moments, and bring it back to a physical object.

To find a new medium to express time I started exploring slit-scan photography, and combined it with 360 camera rigs, Kinect depth sensor and 3D modeling. After the constant interaction with technology, I was able to bring to life the temporal qualities to tangible objects.
Photogrammetry also acts as a transition between photos and sculptures, and they all have their ways to convey motion. My mission for this project is to improvise a way for these two still mediums, to document time and intimate moments, and bring it back to a physical object. To find a new medium to express time I started exploring slit-scan photography, and combined it with 360 camera rigs, Kinect depth sensor and 3D modeling. After the constant interaction with technology, I was able to bring to life the temporal qualities to tangible objects.

Technology

Photogrammetry uses photos from many angles to generate a 3D model. I am drawn by the expressive opportunities of translating the 3D world to a 2D image, and then back to a 3D model. 
I set up multiple 360 rigs with different cameras.  At first I tried 16 point and shoot, using video from each camera to generate 16 slit scan photos. To get a higher resolution, I setup 24 GoPro cameras. To get above and below, I tried 12 DSLRs in stack of 2. To avoid discrepancy between field of view and perspective, I also tried parallel alignments.

Photogrammetry

Photogrammetry uses photos from many angles to generate a 3D model. I am drawn by the expressive opportunities of translating the 3D world to a 2D image, and then back to a 3D model. I set up multiple 360 rigs with different cameras. At first I tried 16 point and shoot, using video from each camera to generate 16 slit scan photos. To get a higher resolution, I setup 24 GoPro cameras. To get above and below, I tried 12 DSLRs in stack of 2. To avoid discrepancy between field of view and perspective, I also tried parallel alignments.
The Kinect is hackable and easy to use device which allows me to mimic slit scan through code. To generate a 3D model of hugs, I triggered 4 kinects together to cover 4 sides of the act of embrace.

Depth Sensor

The Kinect is hackable and easy to use device which allows me to mimic slit scan through code. To generate a 3D model of hugs, I triggered 4 kinects together to cover 4 sides of the act of embrace.
Rather than trying to capture the movement data and 3D data all at the same time, instead I just captured the 3D data of a body, and used movement data from a previous video to recreate an embrace over time.

Scanning and Modeling

Rather than trying to capture the movement data and 3D data all at the same time, instead I just captured the 3D data of a body, and used movement data from a previous video to recreate an embrace over time.
Final models printed with 3D Systems ProJet 660 powder printer. 10x10x6 inches.

3D Printing

Final models printed with 3D Systems ProJet 660 powder printer. 10x10x6 inches.