A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains



A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains is my attempt to manipulate dimensions within the context of a single image. Its name comes from a renowned Chinese painting “千里江山图”. 

千里江山图/   A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains

千里江山图/A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains

The project's ideas originate from the Fourier Deep Analysis I wrote for Benjamin Grosser's Autonomous Video Artist project. I was fascinated by Fourier Transform's idea of simplifying incoming signals by raising dimensions. A 2D image signal gets broken down to thousands of 3D waves(surfaces). Each of them resonates with each other, forming shapes of seemingly chaotic highs and lows, but with a harmony buried inside, just like those rivers and mountains depicted inside of the painting. What you see in the video above is the animation of those waves interacting with each other using the painting as the incoming signal. Mountains in a 2D picture somehow become "mountains" in a 3D space. Dimension becomes interchangeable. Even though it is just a single picture, it is still oddly satisfying.


The main part of this project is written in C++ and the visualization is implemented with openFrameworks. You can see the source code from here.