Construction projects in SoMa, San Francisco

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This series depicts the various construction projects seen in the SoMa district in San Francisco. Thanks to the tech boom, the city itself has been under rapid development in recent years, symbolized by the soaring skyscrapers and housing prices. SoMa is where all the tech start-ups cluster and seems to be in constant need for more room to accommodate the gold rushers.

These drawings are done with charcoal sticks – the smudginess of this medium conveys the right feel of “under development”, fitting the theme perfectly.

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Dancing Duo

These dancing, breathing flowers are small charged particles randomized in 3D space. Created with Processing. Depending on your browser and internet speed, it may take a while to get the images rendered as fluidly as I hope. I also made an Aurasma (an Augmented Reality app that shows overlay content for target objects) for it, so if I print postcards based on a still of this, their receivers could see them come to life using their phones.

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A Microscopic View

“A Microscopic View,”  watercolor on paper, 8″ x 8″, Chun Wang


The process that made this art was completely extemporary…well, at least at its early stage. I was making another painting while accidentally dropping paints on to this paper which formed patterns in a way that looks like some landscape. I then deliberately turned it a microscopic world (since I was sort of into cells and stuff). This seems to be my most abstract work in my life – even though I still tended to make it figurative!

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Between Clouds and Waters

“Between Clouds and Waters,”  watercolor & ink on paper, 5″ x 5″, Chun Wang


This piece was inspired by traditional Chinese paintings in terms of subject and style. What gives it a distinct modern touch is the brightness of color, which is generally absent from the traditional Chinese. I also played a bit with the concept of wash v.s. pen & ink, so there is that interesting contrast between spontaneous shapes and pinpointed strokes – maybe this can be a stepping stone towards a unique style of my own.

Kitty fun

The photographed version came out first – it was fun to have my painting interact with light. Then had a second version remaking it with a different mood.

Here is another version of it – inspired by the situation where Chinese (especially, Beijing) pupils are in when they play in the notorious heavy smog.

Rodin study

During a visit to the Legion of Honors in San Francisco I studied some of Rodin’s sculptures, or essentially craved volumes that perfectly worked with light. Volume, or depth, and light, are two central elements to a painting’s success. I nevertheless approached the sculptures with a different emphasis in my paintings of them: to me it was way more interesting to replicate the figures’ facial expressions than to paint realistically the light or volume – that could be an assignment from a drawing class but seemed tedious.

A watermelon

I learned a ton from drawing this piece, e.g. how to create 3D effects, paint shadows of objects, and that varying colors’ tones and brightness is very important for a good drawing. Thanks to Mr. Wenxian Wang’s tutorial videos.


The piece is hanging on Tao’s bedroom wall now, but as I take closer look at it, I think I can do better for my next practice!

Digital Ink Series

Now that I have a Macbook Pro without any companion device for inking, I start to mourn over my lost Fujitsu LifeBook T900 Tablet PC. It was very effective for note taking as well as digital drawing. Some doodles and customized greeting card were made with it:





Logo Design for VT-ACSS

I was commissioned by The Association of Chinese Students and Scholars at Virginia Tech (VT-ACSS) to create their organizational logo.

The final result is in digital ink, incorporating an image of the War Memorial Chapel with its eight pylons that symbolize the words “ACSS@TECH.” At the top of the logo a Chinese lantern hangs from a large tree branch, a typical scene in traditional Chinese paintings, meaning to illustrate Chinese students at Virginia Tech are rooted in the school that enriches their lives. Watching carefully, you will find the tree branch and the lantern symbolize the letters “V” and “a” respectively as part of the organization’s name, “ACSS@Va Tech.” The image is created in white strokes against the Virginia Tech Maroon, in an attempt to resemble traditional Chinese seal carving art.

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Here’s a Chinese version of what I wrote to explain the origin of this logo design:

弗吉尼亚理工大学中国学生学者联谊会(ACSS at Virginia Tech)的标识采取学校代表色之一栗色作为背景色,受中国印章艺术阴刻手法启发,以白色笔画勾勒出象征服务、责任、忠诚等VT精神的八块标志性纪念碑的正像;碑体为ACSS @ TECH的字母变形。在其上方与之构成完整画面的是高挂枝头的一只中国灯笼, 寓意中国传统文化在VT的发扬光大,枝梢鸣雀更欲表现华人社区的勃勃生机。除此之外,树枝与灯笼分别为字母V和字母a的变形(Va,即Virginia州缩写),加之其下方的ACSS @ TECH,共同完成了对学生会全称的说明。整个画面繁而不乱,蕴意丰厚,传达了学生会致力于传承 Ut Prosim 精神,使中国学生学者以VT为家,与之融合一体的信息。标识整体设计完全采用图形和字母,便于非华人受众的识别。