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Can You Decipher This Mysterious 3D CGI Art?

Shanghai-based new media artist Kim Laughton delivers another surreal 3D animation.
Screencap via

Within the world of 3D-rendered video art, some new media artists go lo-fi, and others seem to knowingly wink at the ease and disposability of it all—the idea that anyone can do it. Then, there's Shanghai-based internet artist Kim Laughton, whose short 3D renders are hyperreal, deeply atmospheric and mysterious affairs that stick with viewers (see: Field).

In Laughton’s latest, insight, viewers may be left asking, “What the hell is going on?” His virtual camera tilts down onto a table scattered with coffee or tea cups, playing cards, a bunch of chives, wooden blocks, and walnuts, all arranged on a wooden table with Laughton's usual ambient noise and twinkling musical notes as soundtrack.


insight from Kim Laughton on Vimeo.

From there, the contents of the table disappear, and the cards float into a horizontal plane, then flip over to reveal a scantily-clad Chinese girl, a Joker, a wooden owl, and two notes or poems, one in English and the other some type of Chinese text. From there, things get stranger, so any attempt to decipher it here would be useless.

It’s a bit like Jonathan Monaghan’s work—particularly Escape Pod—in that the 3D renders are impeccably designed, though not every visual, sign or symbol makes concrete sense. Just enjoy the surreal, trippy atmosphere and wonderfully rendered 3D visuals supplied by Laughton.

Click here for more of Kim Laughton’s 3D renderings.


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