Ambient Spaces

Click here to view the project

“Ambient Spaces” was created largely for myself, to remember the spaces and people I’ve been with over the years, but my hope is that it can be used by anyone as a way of recreating a past moment or to commemorate a current one. The project is a website in which visitors can explore ambient sound that has been recorded and mapped onto an interactive map. By clicking on any of the location markers, the visitor is taken to a customized audio visualization of the sound. Visitors can also choose to add their own sound file by clicking the “create” button.

Ambience is a powerful way for people to come together over a shared experience, or for you to meditate over a personal one. Ambience in the literal sense implies a shared experience because it is a physical space that can be experienced by anyone. When shared with people who you care about, this physical space becomes a marker for the experiences you and those people have shared and developed emotional bonds over. In this sense, ambience is a shared experience in the conceptual sense as well. Yet, because the individual person will interpret every shared experience differently based on their own past experiences, thoughts, and ties to the people around them, ambience is interpreted in a uniquely personal way. This dual property of ambience is what makes it appropriate to represent the connections and memories we have created within our time at University.

 

Digital Gem

Digital Gem is a magazine concept designed to illustrate new and upcoming technologies that are relevant to the fields of art and technology. The written contents of the magazine is a series of other articles throughout the web, which were then compiled together to create a more cohesive singular article about a specific topic. The display and typography of the magazine was entirely designed by myself.

The magazine features articles regarding controversial art technologies such as NFTs, fictional interviews with artists such as Ian Hubert, Image Galleries of artist Saad Mosajee, and a seires of mini articles regarding Casey Reas’s Social Codes, CTM Cyberia, IOGtaph, and metaPhorest aPrayer Team.

Ajitane – Packaging Design

Ajitane is a candy created to demonstrate the beauty fluidity can have in package design. The candy is meant to be a gelatin based snack, and the candy represents the unique layering of flavors and freeflowing change in taste that the candy gives off.

The richly shaded gradients that circulate through the sides of the box represent the seamlessness changes in flavors the candy would have. The main flavor of the candy is written vividly in the center of the box, surrounded by the two circles representing how the secondary and main flavors are layered over each other. The candy itself is hidden underneath a clear plastic film, paying homage to the translucent sheen that the candy physically gives off.

Acquaintances Through Iteration

“Acquaintances Through Iteration” is an interactive window that peers into the perspectives of individuals during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. The window asks participants to approach the blank surface, which partially reveals an image and expert of an individual’s personal interpretation of the pandemic. The image is unmasked through the use of Cellular Automata, an algorithm simulating the life of cells, which literally refers to the nature in which COVID-19 can spread. Increasingly close distance and action reveals more of the image, which plays with the idea of spreading virus through proximity, but in this case stands as a metaphor for the sharing of ideas. Much like how communication is necessary and unrestrainable, the desire to approach the mirror to connect with others is undeniable, but is constantly in the back of our minds as we engage in the behavior.

Click here to view the web version of the project

 

Hitotoki – NSU Cultural Night 2020

UCLA NSU’s Cultural Night is an annual event that takes place in UCLA’s Royce Hall. It is a celebration of Japanese American culture, community, and history which is displayed through multiple events including dance, theatre, and taiko drumming. Every year, a design committee is formed to create an aesthetic and render deliverables for the night of the event. I had the pleasure of taking a leadership role within the committee. Below is the design concept of the 2020 Cultural Night’s aesthetic, and a spread of the program which was printed and distributed to over 1,000 guests on the night of the event.

In designing this year’s logo and title, we have centered the design around the drama’s motifs of family, intergenerational trauma, and war. The title “Hitotoki,” meaning “moment in time” in Japanese, was selected to encompass the three different time periods in the drama, with each moment in time intertwined and affecting the others. For the logo, we wanted to integrate a traditional Japanese kamon (family crest), which is a unique symbol that each Japanese family possesses representing their family lineage, bloodline, ancestry, and historical status. We selected this specific kamon symbol since it is composed of three identical yet separate hexagonal shapes, symbolizing each of the three time periods having its own spatial and temporal boundaries. Despite these boundaries, each shape contributes to piece together a complete picture of a family’s history.  The “karakusa” pattern on the background and borders is inspired by the stalks and tendrils of plants that form patterns where their leaves and vines meet, and it is considered a symbol for a family’s legacy. Lastly, a warm toned color palette with a deep red accent was chosen to allude to war, the passionate emotions of anger and frustration, as well as the familial love that is expressed through tough love across the generations.

The Fated Game of Life

The mathematics within nature have always fascinated me because of their simplicity and beauty. The beautiful patterns of seashells formed from the fibonacci sequence or the hexagonal patterns of honeycombs are made because of their efficiency and simplicity. The Fated Game of Life is an exploration of John Conway’s Game of Life, by seeing how simple rules can be channeled to form beautiful images.

John Conway’s game of life is a computer program that runs on very simple rules. It is an application of Cellular Automata. The program creates a canvas (a grid), that creates a “cell” in each square. The number of adjacent cells determines whether that cell gets to live or die. When layed out randomly, an fascinating simulation of life occurs:

To expand on this idea, I took the rules of the game of life, and created additional rulesets and differentiated them by color. The result is several games of life that all behave differently:

 

 

Next, I created an algorithm that draws from a set of images and divides the selected one into several layers of colors. The results are as below.

 

Finally, the two different algorithms were combined so that each layer is assigned to a different ruleset. By doing so, the algorithm begins to generate imagery. This particular project revolves around the generation of Japanese paintings, as each color of the painting is clearly independent from the others but still comes together to create cohesive imagery strongly compliments the way in which cellular automata is able to spread apart while still being a cohesive piece.

Free Real Estate

Much of the severity and impending nature of global warming can only be seen on a wide scale, and thus it is difficult to understand both its effects on our day to day as well as our collective contributions to it. Free Real Estate makes commentary on this social situation by giving the player the ability to create objects in an empty world. The progressive change of the environment is a direct reflection of what the player’s actions, and it is through this engagement between player and world that one is able to understand how every day tasks in life can pile up to create destruction.

 

In order to complete the game’s technical elements, much time was spent on the scripting of the game. Much of the scripts were not available online, so several components were created by self teaching ourselves c#. In the end, the project worked as intended, and further add ons would likely be made upon the visual elements rather than the technical.

 

URBAN

Sound is one of the strongest aspects in visual composition, and can be the key to creating an emotional and unique composition. Much of the sound we experience in our lifetimes can bring us back that time period if we were to ever hear it again. URBAN highlights the way that sound is able to recreate memories and an environment within ourselves.

For this project, I chose to focus on the sounds of Tokyo. Being Japanese American and growing up in the US, I have spent much of my life greatly admiring the lifestyle of the urban cityscapes of Japan. The few times I have been there, I was mesmerized by the cohesiveness of tradition and technology, and the harmony between people that is born amidst the dense streets. The sounds featured in the piece were recorded within the Tokyo district during one of my many visits to Japan.

This project was created using Autodesk Maya and Adobe After Effects.