Catalog view is the alternative 2D representation of our 3D virtual art space. This page is friendly to assistive technologies and does not include decorative elements used in the 3D gallery.
Zihang E, JayLoni Fisher, Andrea Kim, Josef Lopez, Johans Saldana Guadalupe, Nina Tomasevic, Sasha-Mylan Williams, Julianne Wong
Instructor & Curator:
These works are the culmination of weeks of project-based research and intensive studio work. Students journeyed through the realm of myths and fantasies, using digital avatars as a storytelling device to explore identity, embodiment, representation, and culture in our technologically mediated world.
From the surrealist exploration of the subconscious self, the Korean myth of Bari-degi, the fusion of Sino-Meso deities of the sea, to the alien legends of Pasadena, our students' projects span a vast narrative spectrum. They infuse life into forgotten companions like Xiao Huang, redefine what it means to be a Black muse, reimagine mythical figures such as the youthful Chiron, and set out on introspective journeys through the metaphorical heart's complex ecosystems.
This fan tells the story of Bari-Degi, the originating God and shaman figure of folk religion ("muism") in Korea. The fan is a core component of avatarization (moving between physical and virtual realms) in the muist worldview; in this case, the Bari-degi fan invokes her story and spirit when used during ritual. The Bari-Degi fan depicts all of her supporters, from the elderly couple who raised her after she was abandoned by the King and Queen and the turtle who carried her from drowning at sea to her seven demon sons she bore after marrying the gatekeeper to the Underworld to acquire the elixir that would save her parent's lives. What's central to the imagery is that while Bari-degi traverses between realms, neither takes precedence or moral value over the other, but are both integrated into a cohesive landscape. To her left and right are Buddha's disciples; like Buddha, she denounces her right to the Palace to walk a spiritual path (Bari-degi repeatedly chants, “Homage to Buddha amitabha” in her travels between worlds), uniquely bringing in a dimension of family redemption and gendered politics in her story. Bari-degi is a spiritual keeper, moral compass, and metaphysical spinstress who can absorb, heal, and transform sickness and shame into a vision of beauty and union all people can see within themselves.
Kara is always the instigator of the dream. I figured they represent my emotions. They dress in red and wear a colorful mask reminiscent of a mixture of Chachapoyas and Paracas cultures. They also wear the white shoes I remember designing back in senior year. We all wear those shoes.
Auro, who I think represents my internal identity, they’re always quiet and never really talk or have a say on anything. They get manipulated by either Kara or André. Auro wears gold or yellow and black, it’s usually a black jacket and pants and a yellow sweater. They wear a liquid gold mask that is usually in the form of my face but changes into different abstractions.
André represents my logical side. They are always mad at me and Kara because we don’t listen to them. They often try to lead but Kara interferes and there’s some sort of power struggle between them. André wears formal clothes often black or dark gray, and a white shirt which I think is the same one I wear but I’ve never seen it in its entirety. They also wear a black mask. It seems to have the texture of clay modeled by hand because of the fingerprints and uneven surface.
The Studio is a place I’ve dreamt of a few times during my senior year of high school, and most recently, the dream came back around the end of the past semester. I have explored these dreams and I was able to make an art collection based on the recollection of ideas, imagery, and emotions I experienced. The Studio is a representation of my subconsciousness, and the characters within are parts of my identity. I want to bring these dreams back and use them to think about avatars in a different way. Most of the dreams were actually nightmares. The most recurring dream is very graphical and horrific (not that the others aren’t).
My myth stems from an investigation of nihilism and our cosmic insignificance which is the basis of most of my research. The project assumes the perspective of an outsider looking at the heart of the storyteller. The heart is symbolically portrayed as a deserted forest ecosystem, representing a state of functional chaos... The environment, as an avatar, serves as a symbol of vitality.
As my mother once told me, "They love to imitate the things that we do, but they don't love us." The idea of a muse and the concept of Greek goddesses have always interested me. There is something incredibly influential and powerless in being a Muse, having the ability to inspire the creator, but not being the creator or given any credit for the work of the art itself. Black Women’s words, bodies, voices, history, and even pain, Black women's mere existence has "influenced /inspired" many aspects of pop culture without any of the credit. And especially in today's modern world with social media. Isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery? When creating my digital avatar, I wanted it to be an extinction of myself and my relationship with social media and pop culture. Performance art in the image of The Greek Muses if they had their own Instagram account...
In the depths of a moonless night, when the world sleeps under a shroud of darkness, beware the tale of Scary Larry. For if you ever stumble upon a pair of glowing white eyes, like ethereal beacons cutting through the blackest night, you MUST resist the urge to fixate upon them...
Portrait of Scary Larry
Digital sculpture of Chiron's mythical horse
Digital sculpture of Chiron
My artwork, created using Nomad software, portrays memories of my childhood with my dog, Xiaohuang. Xiaohuang and I shared a remarkable journey as we grew up together. Sadly, I lost Xiaohuang when I was six. To date, I still haven't been able to find a single photograph that captures either Xiaohuang or both of us together. This absence of visual documentation intensifies my early encounter with sorrow. Through this 3D digital sculpting creation , I seek solace and redemption. It becomes a means to heal the void left by the absence of visual memories. I intentionally omit facial details, both mine and my dog's, as I recall them faintly. In my work, compared to my tiny, childhood self, my dog appeared incredibly huge. It reminds me of the times she generously allowed me to sit on her back, embarking on joyful adventures together. The ethereal and dreamlike color palette chosen for the artwork serves as a visual representation of the blissful moments of my childhood. Through this piece, I aim to honor the memory of 'Xiaohuang' and evoke a sense of childhood happiness and nostalgia, transporting viewers to their own cherished memories.