Visualizing the Universe

  • The main focus for a semester-long independent study program (in short, ISP) provided by Rhode Island School of Design was "Visualizing the Universe." This is an ongoing project to visualize and build a library of the outer space and astrophysics theories in a creative way. Three categories on the ancient past, present, and future of the universe have been explored.

    By utilizing my design skills, the project aims to approach and intrigue interest on complicated subjects to the general public and amateur astronomy-lovers, like myself, with easy-to-understand depiction along with STEAM education. Moreover, by tapping into various themes and subjects regarding the universe, the project aims to enhance my own understanding in the subject matter.
  • Past: Ancient Chinese Constellation
    This is a first of ancient constellation series from various cultures around the world. Ancient Chinese believed that each direction was controlled by holy animals: East - Azure Dragon, West - White Tiger, North - Black Tortoise, South - Vermilion Bird. The blue mark in the center is the Milky Way.
  • Past: Ancient Chinese Constellation
    Gouache, Watercolor, Ink on Arches
  • Past: Ancient Chinese Constellation
    Detail 1
  • Past: Ancient Chinese Constellation
    Detail 2
  •                                   Present: Movement of Astronomical Subjects in the Medieval Times
    This "present" piece depicts several phenomena in a single picture frame. The center shows retrograde motions of Solar System planets in relation to the Earth in the center. Around that, 12 zodiac signs are mentioned along with a full cycle of our Moon. And in the background, a course of a comet that appeared in 1664 and 1665 is illustrated. The category "Present" is served to show only up to what we know with current science.
  • Present: Movement of Astronomical Subjects in the Medieval Times
    Gouache, Watercolor, Ink on Arches
  • Present: Movement of Astronomical Subjects in the Medieval Times
    Detail 1
  • Present: Movement of Astronomical Subjects in the Medieval Times
    Detail 2
  •                   Future: Visualization of Multiverses with Cosmic Microwave Background and Black Matter
    The "Future" focuses on the elements or subjects that only exist in theories, such as Multiverse or Dark Matter. The center circle is our universe, with membranes of galaxies and dark matter, then the Cosmic Microwave Background (in short, CMB) around the edge. CMB is the first and foremost traces from the very first moment of Big Bang. And the other universes near ours, may have different elements or colors, but all must have started similarly with their own big bangs.
  • Future: Visualization of Multiverses with Cosmic Microwave Background and Black Matter
    Gouache, Watercolor, Ink on Arches
  • Future: Visualization of Multiverses with Cosmic Microwave Background and Black Matter
    Detail 1
  • Future: Visualization of Multiverses with Cosmic Microwave Background and Black Matter
    Detail 2
  • Many thanks to:
    RISD Professor Bill Drew
    Brown University Physics Professor David Cutts
    Previous Associate Director for Brown University Sheridan Center of Teaching & Learning Carie Cardamone

    Reference:
    Chinese Star Constellation Map 中國星宮圖
    Lubinetski’s book compiled European accounts of the comets of 1664 and 1665, and provided a general history of cometary phenomena
    A Little Book of Coincidences by John Martineau