Winter to Spring. Ancient and Contemporary. Science Art for Happy Chinese New Year!

February 7, 2016 § 1 Comment

2016-Spring-Festival

The marking of season’s or year’s change is possibly the most global and ancient manifestation of human “culturetech,” or integrated science and art. Tracking the patterns of lunar, solar, and seasonal cycle was among the earliest “scientific” works of man, yet also a key prompt for cultural sense-making and expression, from monuments to festivities.

Three days ago was Lichun (立春), or Start of Spring, the first of 24 Solar Terms on the East Asian lunisolar calendars. (For those scientifically-inclined, it is when the Sun is at the celestial longitude of 315°.)

Tomorrow Spring Festival(春节)will arrive, marking the beginning of a new lunar year, this time welcoming the Monkey.

As my family and I rush to finish house cleansing and get ready for dumplings, red lanterns, New Year’s Eve TV show and WeChat greeting storms, I would like to share the festivities with you by presenting a group of unique arts, courtesy of creators around the world. « Read the rest of this entry »

LAST Festival Art Expo Highlights

October 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

The 3rd installation of the L.A.S.T. Festival, organized by Thymos Foundation and originally conceived by Piero Scaruffi, took place over the weekend of October 16 to 18, at Stanford University.  The L.A.S.T. Festival celebrates the confluence of art with the multiplicity of new media technologies and nascent sciences that are transforming sociality and experience in the 21st century.

The Festival featured four programs:

  • Interactive multimedia art installations that break the “Do not touch!” taboo of the traditional museum and are meant to let people experience something they never experienced before
  • Inspirational talks by luminaries on cutting-edge technology and science, including Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Nanotech, Space Exploration, and Neuroscience
  • Live performances
  • Interactive workshops or talks by artists

Click to watch video recordings of the talks.

And here are some photos of the art installations.  Click on the images to learn more about each installation. « Read the rest of this entry »

Anatomy Inside Rodin’s Hands

August 6, 2014 § 1 Comment

As impressive as the Rodin collection at Stanford University’s Cantor Art Center – one of the largest in the world, with 200 works in all – most of them are not one and only edition of the artist’s masterpieces.  As part of his bequest, Auguste Rodin authorized the Nation of France to continue to cast his works poshumously, either from his original plaster molds or from molds newly taken from his plasters.  Up to twelve examples of each size can be cast of each of Rodin’s works.

However, a recent exhibition at the museum (on view April 9 – August 3), inspired by the great artist’s sculptures of human hands,  was truly one of its kind.

A multidisciplinary collaboration between the Cantor Art Center and Dr. James Chang, a hand reconstruction surgeon at Stanford’s School of Medicine, supported by the School’s Division of Clinical Anatomy and the Lane Medical Library, “Inside Rodin’s Hands: Art, Technology, and Surgery” looked at the artist’s powerful depictions of hands with an anatomical eye, aided by cutting-edge technologies such as 3D imaging and augmented reality.    Take for example Left Hand of Eustache de Saint-Pierre.  The images and video clip here illustrate the three-dimension, anatomical view for visitors to see “beneath the skin”, with imaginary bones, nerves and blood vessels:

Photo of Rodin's sculpture "Left hand of Eustache de Saint-Pierre" during the scanning process. Photo by Matthew Hasel, Production Manager, Division of Clinical Anatomy, Stanford School of Medicine. Art caption: Auguste Rodin (France, 1840–1917), “Left Hand of Eustache de Saint-Pierre,” c. 1886. Bronze. Cantor Arts Center collection, Gift of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, 1998.359.

“Left hand of Eustache de Saint-Pierre” during the scanning process. Photo by Matthew Hasel, Production Manager, Division of Clinical Anatomy, Stanford School of Medicine. Art caption: Auguste Rodin (France, 1840–1917), “Left Hand of Eustache de Saint-Pierre,” c. 1886. Bronze. Cantor Arts Center collection, Gift of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, 1998.359.

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Neuro-structure, Architecture, and Sculpture

April 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

(Click thumbnails to view larger images in Gallery)

When I came across Megan McGlynn’s neuro-inspired wood sculptures, one piece grabbed my attention in particular – “Structure of the Mammalian Retina”. It is not the most visually stunning example of her work. In fact it may be a more understated piece. However the title intrigued me a great deal. My mother had just suffered from retinal tear and vitreous hemorrhage in her left eye during her cataract surgery, when the doctor accidentally punctured her retina with anaesthesia needle.  This necessitated a second, emergency surgery – vitrectomy – to repair the damage. I never knew that the delicate, sacred human eye can withstand such abuses!

CDR0000543553

 

Dealing with this unfortunate accident and preparing my mother for the procedures gave me a crash course on anatomy of the eye, and ophthalmology. McGlynn’s sculpture prompted me to look further into the biological structure of the human retina, its functional connection with the brain and the part it plays in the vision system.

 

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