Final Project Proposal by Yuhan Qian

  1. Work Title: Artistic Visual Arts Generating System
  2. Short Description:
    Get an artistic abstract image or poster with one click. Based on Processing, Artistic Visual Arts Generating System create visual arts for the users with no art background but a sense and pursuit of aesthetics.
  3. Team Member: Yuhan Qian
  4. Narrative Description:
    When I was in high school, I wanted to prepare myself as an art major student in college, while my parents preferred me to learn business because of the family business. So I chose marketing as my major. But my love of arts never stopped. I learned photography and played studio arts in school, which continuously develop my sense of aesthetic.
    My experience in both business and art worlds makes me realize the importance of visual aids. The major work of a marker is communication, which requires visual aid to better engage audiences and create a better understanding. When making slides, using a template is easy while also very likely to be the same with the other. Otherwise, either finding one image that fit the needs exactly or creating an abstract image is always time-consuming.
    The needs for good visual aids leads me to explore Process as a tool for generating eye-pleasing images. Based on my work in previous weeks, I do feel processing could generate abstract images with aesthetic. The “randomness” gives me surprise and innumerable possibilities. I can get the inspiration from current masker pieces and recreate.
    Especially, I found a great book called “Shapes Geometric Forms in Graphic Design”, which collects masterpieces of Graphic Design focusing on using Geometric forms. And Processing could create various shapes as well.
       For my final project, I want to choose 20-30 masterpieces for recreation within the book and among the Internet.  The final work, ideally, would contain a physical book and an interface. The physical book has printed image for the users to look through, and to illustrate the “randomness” in generative arts as well. The digital interface leading to the digital Visual Arts Generating System, which allows the users to generate the images he/she likes.
  5. Visual Support:
    a. examples for recreationb.example for using the generative image in making slides

    c. Printed book

Assignment 1 by Yuhan

There have been three years that I haven’t used Process at all. And this is my first time to refamiliarize myself with it. It did take me some time to re-understand, even the basic concepts.

I took a look at the book that Cici recommended in class, “Interaction of Color” by Josef Albers. One image (included below) reminds me the in-class exercise of the repetitive line (see below) we did. I think by adding the squares between the lines, I would be able to recreate Alber’s work.

(Artwork from Josef Albers, in Interaction of Color)

(Screenshot of In-class Exercise)

However, when I started, I was struggling with the “Mask” of the original image. A group of shapes including both lines and squares needs to be rotated within a mask, which means some parts of the shape group should be covered and unseen. While I failed to do that.

Instead, I inserted a “Random” function into the “Rotation”, which allows the computer to move the groups of shapes. But I prefer to only keep the line, which makes the image simple but aesthetic.

(Yuhan’s Version)

int gap = 20;

void setup(){
  frameRate(0.5);//Specifies the number of frames to be displayed every second

void draw(){



void drawPattern(float angle){
 int rowCount = 0;
 for(int x=60; x<=300; x+=gap*1.5){
   for(int y=65;y<=260; y+=gap*2.8){
     if(rowCount%2 == 0){

Assignment 3 by Yuhan: Poster Making with Processing

Last weekend, when I tried to get some inspiration from a graphic design book, I encountered the poster from United Nations Climate Change Conference. The poster initially is inspired by a Canon Line and the concentric circles with different colours represents the climate change.

This reminds me that processing actually could be a great poster-making tool. So I modified the codes of changing-colour cycle and include the text to imitate the poster. The gradation changes with the mouse position. Because of the inserted formula for the “Colour Fill” function, there is a black hole in the centre. When the user moves the mouse, the size of the black hole changes as well. This changing is similar to an aperture of a camera lens, which is the original inspiration for the conference poster. So I change the text on purpose, from conference title to Canon’s slogan “Canon, Delight You Always”.

/*Yuhan Qian
The fllowing codes get inspiration from the in-class exercise in the second session, as well as the UN Climate Change Conference 2014 Poster 

PFont F;
//PFont f;

void setup(){

void draw(){
  translate(width/2, height/3);
  for(int i=0; i<30;i++){
    fill(190-i*20, mouseX-i*30, mouseY-i*30);
    ellipse(0, 0,300-i*10,300-i*10);
  //text("LIMA COP20 | CMP 10", 0, 280);
  text("CANON, Delight You Always", 0, 280);
  //text("UN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE 2014",0,320);
  //text("Delight You Always",0,308);

Reading Response 3: Experiments in Computer Poetry

In the Chapter “the Sinclair ZX81″,Charles O.Hartman begins with describing the behind thought and process of designing his computer program “Poetry Composer”. The program is able to randomly pick up words, phrases from input texts and integrated them following certain coded rules. He continues discussing the randomness of poetry composition into religions, philosophy, and psychology. Buddism treats every randomness events as the result of previous behaviors. Philosopher, like Freud, believes “unconscious motivations” which make “nothing occurs at random.” People try to reveal their faith through divination for psychological comfort. 

To see how randomness is welcome in the art world while avoided in the real life is interesting. For instance, generative art,  the fascination of the whole genre relies on randomness. Either the interaction between the viewer and creator for recreation or the randomness contained in the artwork per se delight both the creator and audience with surprise (though not all the time). Take one step even further. When Jackson Pollock innovates painting with drip painting, randomness came into play as well, since he can’t decide the exact position of each dripped ink spot.

As above, the randomness in art creation creates surprise and brings happy incidents. In real life, however, it seems more scaring and being avoided. Living with unknowing and uncertain is sacring. And people prefer certainty, which could be well-prepared. That’s why people try to connect events. Also, why Buddhism could leverage the proliferation to constraint and educate Buddhists’ behavior. The action of connecting events itself is a way to escape the uncertainty or randomness.

After realizing the different attitudes people have towards randomness in art and daily life, I more respect the first person to include randomness in art creation, who has not only creativity but also both courage.

Assignment 2 by Yuhan

Friday Night, I saw a poster series a competition called “World Design Captial Tapei”.

These two inserted posts remind me our coding exercise in class, which uses random lines to draw master artwork. Based on the “random” function, I created the first version. While with the long line but small spots, the image gets messy. So I further include a “if” loop, to constraint the amount of line within 50.


The first Version

Continue Working. I noticed that there actually multiply line cross one single point and connect to each other. In order to imitate, I inserted another four parameters a, b, x, y, to ensure that center point and the start point of the line is the same.

void draw(){
angle +=random(angle);
float radius = random(40,100);
float x = a+radius * cos(angle);
float y = b+radius *sin(angle);

the Second Version

The third version refers to the cycle at the bottom of the second post, trying to make all the spots with different size stay in the same cycle area. The initial idea was to use “Mask” function. I made an image with a white background and a transparent cycle in the middle. I uploaded into my codes, while it didn’t work. So I came up with the idea of using [“Sin”, “Cos” function * radius] to constrain the positions of all the elements, which is the same way we learn Sin and Cos in math.

The Third Version


if(number<70){ //to contrain the number of biggest spot
number +=1;

Reading Response 2: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Walter Benjamin talks about in the age of mechanical reproduction, the work of art is uncoupled from the ritualistic base (6), reveals the aspects that cannot be seen by the naked eyes attributed to process reproduction (3), increases the audience base because of the technical development (4). His discussion regarding the transformation of the nature of arts from cult value to exhibition value evokes my further consideration of the value of arts nowadays.

My first reaction to the transformation is whether an increasing emphasis on exhibition a problem. In order to answer, I suggest redefining the cult value from the perspective of society. Certainly, the cult value still closely relates to rituals and religions. The redefinition, however, should extend the narrow ritualistic or religious formats into physical or spiritual contexts that empower individuals, since we don’t have rituals or ceremonial needs as often as early periods. And the work of arts being on view, namely the exhibition value, are actually serving a similar purpose as rituals and religions from certain extends. Overcritic on the exhibition value would also be misleading.

My personal example that exhibition value instead of replacing but supporting or integrating with cult value is my visit to the solo photography exhibition SKĒNĒ of Alex Majoli. Alex Majoli documents political conflicts, human struggles, and other dark elements of the society in numerous countries. When editing, he inserts artificial lighting to create an atmosphere of theater, exploring the idea that the whole world is a theater where all the peoples are the actors (see below image). The documentary images are so grievous that the same as exaggerated facial expressions of actors, while they are real. The photography artworks remind me, as well as other audience, the peace of the world, the social responsibility, the appreciation to current life and other life learnings.

(the link to the exhibition webpage:ēnē-howard-greenberg-gallery)

In the age of mechanical reproduction, artists have the continuously developed techniques and equipment for creation. Meanwhile, audience enjoy the benefits of mechanical reproduction to see the art pieces via internet, galleries, and museums. Perhaps, when the exhibition value brings commercial benefits, may the impact of redefined cult value be with art.

Favourite Artwork from Ad Reinhardt

The above link is a solo exhibition “Blue Paintings” of the artist Ad Reinhard in New York Gallary David Ziwiren. Why I love his work is the paintings themselves are quite simple but the process how it engages his audience is interesting.

Reinhard only uses the color blue to draw but different color tones. It may take minutes for a viewer to distinguish all the different color tones. The process of view becomes interactive. Besides, the color-filled genre seems normal today, while back to Reinhard’s time 1960s, color-filled images are still quite innovative.

Reading Response 1: What is Generative Arts

Philip Galanter tries to define generative arts in his paper “What is Generative Art”. According to him, the defining element of generative art is “the use of an autonomous system for art making”. He further discusses the concept system by distinguishing chaotic system and random system, ordered and disordered. For the system of generative art, Greater propose the idea of “effective complexity, order, and disorder”. Namely, generative art can either be complex or simple, ordered or disordered, as long as it finds the balance between complexity and simplicity that could catch the interest of the audience.

My key takeaway is Galanter’s emphasis that “generative art may or may not be ‘high tech'”. His more detailed discussion regarding “how can handmade art be generative” inspires me to reconsidered contemporary arts.

Galanter’s discussion for handmade arts brings the Artist Suzan Frecon back to my mind. Suzan Frecon is a contemporary abstract painter. She mainly uses large and immersive paintings with interacting arrangements of color. In her solo show in New York, Depending on the viewer’s position and the time of the day, the color of the painting keeps changing (see images below), because of the matte and sheen, immediacy and radiance of the surface.


Before, I would never consider Suzan Frecon’s work as generative art, while I do now. The viewers and the timing are the autonomous systems here, which set the Frecon’s artwork into motion. Even though the color-filled images are quite simple, but the interactive way of appreciation makes the artworks “effective complex”.

MyStuff – Minimum Viable Pruducts By Joanna Qian and Natalie Cao

Landing Page:
Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 10.46.49 AM

MyStuff is an app, building a  trade platform for used stuff based on a local community. It satisfies the need of our users as be both suppliers and demanders at the same time.
Besides, offers useful tips about what you should bring and where you can buy these stuff. Meanwhile, it organises interesting events that best suit young people.
Final Pesentation.001

A 39 seconds interesting video!
The is our  preparing process… Believe me, 39 seconds is supper supper time consuming!!!


FullSizeRender 3

FullSizeRender 2


Here is our prototyping 🙂
Click the link and try it!



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We began by assuming that for most of the college students, they are suffering from buying new stuffs for the new semester and taking away their belongings at the end of the semester. So we saw an opportunity to provide a online trading platform in order to let university students to easily get cheap but useful stuffs and easily to sale their used stuffs.

After interviewing 7 college students, inside and outside NYUSH, in China and out of China. We find that a bigger market for MyStuff more than the beginning and the ending of semester, which we expected before. College students are not only suffer from the process of purchasing stuffs that they need at the beginning of the semester, they also struggle a lot in the middle of the semester when they found out that they need to buy something but the place where sales the the stuff is too far and students are all quite busy in the middle of the semester. Besides, they show their interest in our local community base, which they believe they can avoid quality problem since they can see it and exchange in person. So we became more confident with our previous assumption.

Ultimately, we found that college students are also willing to purchase stuffs on a online trading platform even in between the semester. So we decide to add more service in our app to make sure that the suppliers will still use our app so that our demanders’ needs can be satisfied.  

Final Pesentation2.001


Animation Part 2 Joanna Qian and Anny Ni



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I learned more type animation by myself. This is using path (pen tool) to animate characters.




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Every movements of the little boy and girl is very time-consuming. We have to adjust his/her body parts farm by farm.  Lots of thanks to my great partner Anny who draws a lots of farm.

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In order to make the movements of characters more natural, we adjusts their path.

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Only two seconds’s drawing effect take lot of efforts as well.

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I really appreciate this experience of doing animation, which really helps me develop my skill of using Adobe After Effect. I enjoyed working with Anny a lot, although both of us stayed so late to make this animation. I thought it almost becomes perfect, Hahaha… ENJOY WATCHING IT!!

Here is the link: