Sunday, June 27, 2010

Computer-aided art show by 2 digital art teachers becomes garden of visual delights

By Nancy T. Lu

Digital art in the hands of artists Lin Yao-tang and Jean Cha-lin evolves into a garden of visual delights. Lin creates his own flower show ahead of Taipei’s International Flora Exposition to open later this year while Jean releases flashes of butterflies fluttering their gossamer wings to make complete the very colorful Mother Nature-inspired picture at the Daxia Gallery of the Chinese Culture University’s Department of Education Promotion in Taipei.

Both art teachers from Ming Chuan University display expertise in the methods for digitally synthesizing and manipulating visual content in computer-aided design.

Computer graphics got started by William Fetter in 1960 or half a century ago and in the 1990s three decades later, the technological advances had opened up fantastic possibilities in digital design. Access to the Illustrator, Photoshop and Painter softwares in the market today, however, does not guarantee success in producing digital art. Human talent remains crucial in the input for image manipulation on a computer.

Lin, who was born and raised in Puli, began preparing for the ongoing exhibition a year ago. He decided to do his flower series of digital art after the unexpected sight of Taiwan’s wild but beautiful flowers fanned nostalgic memories.

Jean for his part reveled in art creation for this exhibition. He just kept “painting” a razzmatazz of bold and solid colors on his computer screen. Bright and strong colors emerging in surprising combinations went on to sum up his cheerful personality.

According to Jean, he experienced unstoppable urge to make art evolve in ways bringing personal satisfaction. Each first attempt, however, was never his final one. At the end of the day, he felt truly appreciative of how far computer science in this age of advanced technology. had taken him in his creative endeavor.

Jean, too, felt a certain nostalgia as he went about his creative digital exercise. As he moved forward in developing shapes, patterns and colors with the help of softwares in computer graphics, he did not stop engaging in wistful yearning for past results. In fact, he has printed saved files to share with the public at the ongoing exhibition of digital works.

During a trip to the countryside, Lin had caught sight of big clusters of orange lantana flowers off the beaten track. He suddenly remembered a weird character who used to roam the streets of his childhood memory, calling out “Hanako! Hanako!” The eccentric fellow reportedly lost his mind after learning that his beloved Japanese girlfriend had committed suicide after being misled into believing that he had died. Their love for each other had met with strong family opposition at the outset. His family did everything to tear them apart. And so thoughts of Hanako, whose name means “flower” in Japanese, have lingered on in Lin’s memory.

An imagined love letter from the heartbroken Hanako inspired a series of works resembling traditional stationeries. These have been nicely framed for the art show.

As a child, Lin had heard of a wild flower with a smell said to drive people crazy. But the remembrance of the wild ginger flower had lingered with more appeal, according to Lin. Blossoms of this kind grew wildly on the banks of a running brook near his ancestral family home in Puli.

When in full bloom, the local magnolia plant cultivated in the courtyard of his Puli home invited picking by the women returning from doing their laundry in the brook nearby for instant tucking in their hair, according to Lin.

Meanwhile the hibiscus plants at home required monthly trimming, Lin recalled. And so he drew them, too, for eventual inclusion in his digital art designs. Flowers blooming on the loofah vines likewise attracted his attention for they were very beautiful, he said.

Lin used handmade Puli paper to print his digital art. The two biggest masterpieces required at least eight sheets each to produce. The special paper absorbed the ink colors to create a soft result as seen in the picture shown here.

The “Exhibition of Digital Works by Two Artists” will run until July 8. The Daxia Gallery of the Chinese Culture University’s Department of Education Promotion is located at 231 Jianguo South Road, Sec. 2, in Taipei.


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