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A technology that can interpret and project cultural nuances onto a screen has been developed by researchers at CityU.
Described as the Body Brush the technology, which merges art and computer science, creates 3D paintings using the body as a brush.
Among suggested applications is mapping the body movements of people from different cultural backgrounds. Principal Investigator Prof Horace Ip said: “Natural body movements is inherently based on a person’s cultural upbringing. It would be interesting to see the differences.” Body Brush, he says, is an Eastern response to America’s Abstract Expressionism. Infrared sensors pick up body movements of the “painter” who uses space as a canvas.

Body Brush images: Chinese ink painting effect (left), and Body Brush artists (right).

Data is translated by computer software developed by the researchers and projected onto a screen resulting in motion line drawings similar to 3D Chinese ink painting.
Having completed the Body Brush project, Prof Ip and his team are now working on adding music to the painter’s motion in a research sequel named Body Baton.
Meanwhile, Body Brush was earlier this year voted winner of the Austrian-based international computer art competition, Prix Ars Electronica, in the Interactive Art category.
In Hong Kong, there is interest in using Body Brush for a stage event to bring a new dimension to cultural dance.

Principal Investigator
Prof Horace Ip: cship@cityu.edu.hk