Traditional Chinese ink painting with 3D Systems

Chen ZhiHe, the student responsible for Ink Cloud, was inspired by China’s long artistic history of ink painting, a tradition which has been around since at least the 5th century. The tradition, which consists of painting with varying concentrations of black ink, is known not for its realistic depictions of the world and its subjects, but rather for capturing the spirit or essence of the natural world through strokes and movement.

A Chinese art student from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts has gained huged attention for her graduation project, which elegantly and artistically combines traditional Chinese ink painting with contemporary 3D printing Technologies. The inspiring project, called Ink Cloud, presents yet another example of how 3D design and printing technologies are not just the gateway to the future of manufacturing, but also offer some unique entryways into the past.

In designing the lamp, Chen actually based her 3D model on the form ink takes when it drops into water, slowly expanding and swirling. In this way, Chen has included ink and water into her piece almost directly, which are the two crucial materials for Chinese ink wash painting. With the 3D digital model complete, Chen 3D printed the sculptural lamp out of a photosensitive resin material on an RS Pro600 3D Printer from UnionTech. According to Chen, her model can be printed at a maximum size of 700mm in length x 390mm in width.

Additionally, to add to the inky effect, the lamp was printed out of a transparent resin, which was then colored black. The result of which gives off a semi-transparent luminescent effect when light shines through it. Chen says of the project, “Art is from life, but over time, traditional art in modern life gradually loses relevance, which leads to the marginalization of art and even to its disappearance. I combine traditional arts with modern technology to bring the traditional element back into people’s lives…”

Ink Cloud is currently being showcased alongside other graduation projects at the Central Academy of Fine Arts’ exhibition in Beijing. The exhibition runs until June 26th.

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