October 2018

Language: Pytorch Node.js P5.js

“Shanshui-DaDA” is an interactive installation based on artificial intelligence. When participants scribble lines and sketch the landscape, the AI will help to create a Chinese Shanshui painting. "Shanshui-DaDA" is trained GAN model wrapped with a web-based interface, where participants can sketch on and later see the real-time generated paintings. If the participant sketches the landscape in his/her imagination with lines on the front interface, the "Shanshui-DaDA" will assistant to create a Chinese Shanshui painting and present in the display.


“Shanshui” literally means "mountain and water", also known as literati painting, it's is an East Asian type of brush painting of Chinese origin that uses ink and involves natural landscape. As a key element of what Chinese calls literati arts — or amateur arts of the scholars, Shanshui painting used to be along with their education, the Chinese scholars were all trained in this forms of fine arts. This art form is, in a long history, an essential part of the spiritual life of the entire community of ancient Chinese intellectuals. But the tradition is vanishing. "DaDA" refers to “Design and Draw with AI”, explains the goal of exploring the possible role of artificial intelligence in (traditionally human-oriented) creative processes -- such as drawing and design. I choose “Shanshui” - this unique eastern traditional art form to train “Shanshui-DaDA”, commit to enhance modern people, especially those have grown up in eastern culture, with the ability to easily use “Shanshui” as an expressive medium and to enrich their spiritual life.

Generated "Shanshui" Collection.

With the 24 selected "Shanshui" co-created by participants and Shanshui-DaDA, I handcrafted this Shanshui collection book with my girlfriend's help. Two of us spent eight hours on this, which is kind of interesting. The arttificial intelligence is more on the creative side during the production of the painting collection, while two human labor handcrafted the physical copy. The book followed the traditional "Shanshui" collection design- "CeYe" which usually uses to present small scale (comparing to scrolls) "Shanshui".

A digital copy of generated "Shanshui" used in the book:
Shanshui co-created by Participants and Shanshui-DaDA:

Source code for this website is available on github.