Field Trip to Beijing

Beijing trip was amazing, and I am really grateful to see so many exhibitions and art works in a short weekend. As for video-art, the exhibitions have a variety of showcase on how video and visual effects can be extended outside of a single screen, into dislocated screens or even the surrounding space, which are all really good inspirations for my final project.

In all of the time-based art, I like the one by Chang Yun-han, a Taiwanese artist, where in the video, a performer is sitting on the chair, rocking back and forth, telling a story. (Unfortunately I cannot find the name of this piece on both her personal website and the Internet, but here is a picture of it below.)

I didn’t have the opportunity to watch the whole piece, but from my comprehension, it is about a boy keeping a small alligator, which during the process he has to constantly give it a new home because it is getting larger and larger. Throughout it is only the performer, the man wearing mixed clothing with aboriginal element in the video, saying out the story, so it is for the audience to imagine what the “visual” looks like in their head. However, the way the story is told is very special, that it repeats again and again the names of some colors, which are the colors of the alligator and the homes (objects). The representation of scenes by individual colors makes the visualization of the story in our mind even stronger. Standing right in front of the projected glass, I could really picture the story just from what I heard.

I like this piece not only because of the storytelling techniques and the poetic sentences, but also because that it may be addressing that we are easily dominated by visuals with what technology can do today. With all the fancy effects, the communication between us and the new digital world seem to go from strong interactions back to the single way of merely receiving information. But with this piece, with a same story, different people may have different pictures in their imaginations, and somehow we have also become co-creators of the piece.

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Final Project Idea

For my final project, I am going to make an online diary app using react.js. Nowadays most people don’t physically write that much, but type using digital devices instead. Therefore, I figure out that it would be more convenient for those using an online diary app, with the app itself being more accessible (don’t have to worry about a diary book disappearing or being stolen). I think diaries don’t have to be traditional where everyday people sit down and write a full paragraph or page of everything; they can be specific occurrences or brief thoughts/statements happening whenever. The app is for anyone who has a PC or phone, especially ones who is eager to document unique feelings and cool ideas before they disappear for good and slowly being forgotten.

How my project will be different from existing diary apps is mainly the layout of entries and how this will generate different feelings for the users. By connecting daily entries with calendar, users can easily navigate through different entries posted at different times. By grouping specific entries,  they can be linked to each other by topics. Overall, the juxtaposing of the entries will help user to be more connected to their own stories. I will be able to tell more about them after I will have done my competitor research.

My problem is that I want to be able to break the risk of users having non-lasting interest in writing diaries, maybe by adding game-like “sign-in” prizes/awards (I still haven’t exactly figured out how).

Midterm Project: Mobile Address Book App

Name of Project: BESTIES

(made in React.js)

Description: BESTIES is a mobile address book app (in IphoneX) designed for people who make friends from all over the world, and would like to have a list of Besties that one can easily manage.



The idea of this app actually stems from my own experience studying here at NYU Shanghai. NYU Shanghai is composed of people from a diversity of backgrounds, and so it is relatively easy to make friends from different places in the world. Stepping a step back, the fact that many of us are making “best friends at the current time from a new country” is just amazing, like I having an Indian bestie who has come to China since she was 11-month-old. Back before college, most of our contacts are all from our hometowns or home countries, and we may have spent a good three, four, or more years studying with and becoming closer to them. However, attending NYU Shanghai is like entering into reality: it is mostly impossible for us to expect who we will meet and among them, who will become our new best friends, and how long can they still be close friends that you can see frequently.

Old best friends are still besties, but perhaps some of them has lost some intimacy as time goes by. But at the same time, it is also easy to become very familiar to each other again if there’s an event or any other opportunity that brings people together. Besties or not? Well, BESTIE can possibly solve this determining issue. It is actually further developing the existing, inescapable settings of “normal contacts and favorites;” instead, the app has a list of “besties and best of best,” which can possibly co-exist with other address-book app. With this app, one can easily manage one’s contacts of besties, and see a clear view of who are in the “best of best” list. The app may be even more useful when one starts working and traveling around. Overall, by using Besties, the user is able to pull out his/her list of besties really fast without the need to think for a long time over the entire life span: who is important to me?

User stories and Showcase:

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Assignment 4: Experimenting Green Screen Video with Processing

Name: Trapped

Duration: (00:02:51  , Looped)

Software: Processing, Premiere

Footage – source: Google

Description: This is a video piece that includes still images and a green screened astronaut on top. The piece aims to show that the astronaut, or perhaps us all, are all trapped in time and space, based on the most significant, whether bad or good, thing we have done.


Due to the fact that information nowadays are worldwide, it’s highly impossible to keep them private. By all kinds of broadcasting through satellites, internet and other sharing platforms, once a single thing about a person is spread out, it becomes a dominating criterion or way of how people are going to know or think about that person at first. Even if what the person did was good, it may power over all the other things about the person. If what the person did was something considered to be bad, it may go along with the person and even become the “label” of him/her. Thus the project name “Trapped.”

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