Li Hongbo's "Statues in Motion"


Fri, Feb 28th, 2014 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

I don't want to ruin the surprise of this video, so if you haven't watched it yet, watch it. Done? Okay, these sets of classical-looking sculptures were created by Li Hongbo very much in the traditional sense, except that when the head is pulled, an astonishing and disturbing effect is achieved. The following from Phil Plait from Slate:

I suspect this is so engaging because of the “uncanny valley” effect, where artwork depicting faces looks almost--but not quite--real. It disturbs us. That’s why simple cartoons like Homer Simpson look just fine when we watch the show (the drawings are flat and not at all realistic), but when it’s turned into a 3-D photorealistic picture, it will haunt your nightmares for all eternity (seriously, you may not wish to click that link unless being drastically and soul-clenchingly disturbed for the rest of your life is something you truly desire).

In this case, the heads look like classic Greek sculptures, which are clearly representative of humans, but lack the depth of reality, so they are beautiful, not disturbing. When they become distorted as they are pulled apart, accordion-like, the eyes get stretched, the ratios of various features distort, and some atavistic part of our brain is activated. We’re repulsed. The creepy music only adds to the effect.



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