CityU’s creative media students showcase perfect combination of art and technology

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Student artwork showcased in the “Playful Media” exhibition held by the School of Creative Media (SCM) at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) offers a perfect blend of digital technology and art.

Out of the 42 exhibits on show, one installation turns Facebook photos into a giant mosaic-like picture, an electronic game combines the multi-touch functions of mobile phones and flat panel computers, and an animation mingles tango with fencing.

Themed “Media Supporting Mobile Lifestyle,” this exhibition was the fifth to be organised and produced by the Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Creative Media programme. It provides students with an opportunity to display their work, help CityU teachers and students know more about the SCM, and promote art and technology.

Professor Arthur Ellis, CityU Provost, Mr Raymond Chan Yiu-man, Director of Operation of G3 Asia Limited, and Dr Eric Liu Sai-lok, Chairperson of Hong Kong ACM SIGGRAPH Professional Chapter attended the opening ceremony on 30 June.

“Through these works our students can reveal their computer technology skills and creativity as well as their acute observations on the prevailing mobile lifestyle that spurs market demand today. They will be the new blood of the creative media industry,” said Professor Liu Zhiqiang, Professor of the SCM and founder of the SIG and Playful Media.

“In addition to the enthusiastic participation and perseverance of students, the success of the SIG and Playful Media should be attributable to SCM faculty Mr Eddie Leung Hiu-ming, Mr Yim Chun-pang, Ms Koala Yip Choi-fung, and Mr Ryan Lam Kin-ying. The exhibits represent the concerted effort and wisdom of all of us at the SCM,” he added.

The interactive installation “Aurora” created by Tam Wai-lam, Lee Shu-Kit, Tong Pun-kin, and Zhao Yifan, SCM graduates this year, allows visitors to upload photos to computers via Bluetooth or Facebook where they are combined as a large 2.4m by 4.5m mosaic, which is projected onto a semi-transparent soft-cloth screen.

“Many people like to use smart phones to share photos, yet the size displayed will be limited by the small screen. My installation offers a much larger space for visitors to share and combine their photos to form a giant picture,” Wai-lam said.

Electronic games that provide entertainment in smart phones and flat panel computers inspired Cheung Pak-kei, another SCM graduate this year, to create the game “Undead Society” which combines the multi-touch features of iPhone and iPad. It is more enjoyable to play as players can adjust the screen display according to their own iPhone or iPad needs.

With “Dead Spirit” as the theme, players use touch-screen functions to dispatch vampires, werewolves and Frankenstein’s monsters back to their homes. If they meet on the way home, they fight each other. The loser vanishes, and the side with the most living members returning home safely becomes the winner.

An interesting animation produced by Tong Pun-kin, a SCM graduate this year, is less than 30 seconds long but took 60 hours to produce. It depicts two matchstick fighters fencing in time to a tango tempo. One of the fighters is so eager to win that he uses a magnet to get his opponent’s sword. “I am delighted to see the successful production of the film. It transformed my imagination into lively motion images,” he said.

Initiated in 2005, SIGs enable in-depth learning and training for students from Year 1 onwards. Students sign up for the SIGs that they are particularly interested in, and initiate and participate in projects that cover games, animation and special visual effects, installation, web-radio, photography and digital art design.

The exhibition will be held until 5 July at InnoCentre, Kowloon Tong. The opening hours are 10:00am to 7:00pm. Please visit the website: www.playfulmedia.hk for more information.

Media enquiries: Christina Wu, Communications and Public Relations Office (Tel: 3442 6819 or 9841 2774)

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