Rationalists that we are, most of us consider flower vases to be containers. Artist Fung Kwok Pan, however, blurs the line between the container and the contained. Fung’s so-called fluid vases represent the process of pouring, and the resulting objects showcase beautiful flows and splashes.
Fluid vases were born out of a desire to “translate actions which are commonly associated with objects into the actual object itself,” Fung says. He begins with a high-speed camera, photographing water being poured into a container. With this footage as his model, he uses animation software to create a “3-D mesh” of this process that can be exported to a computer-aided design program. The software enables him to create a physical blueprint of a single step in the pouring process, and he selects two of the best such blueprints to be turned into physical objects by a 3-D printing company.
The printing process, known as selective laser sintering, is done one horizontal layer at a time. A fine powder is spread on the production bed, and a moving laser hardens portions of the powered in accordance with the “map” provided by that layer of the 3-D model. Once each layer hardens, the powder is spread over the top so that another layer can be created.
Fung, a Singaporean, plans to post his process on the Web so that customers can design their own vases. “Imprinting the making story on my works” will give the user a greater sense of the object, he says—away from “the retail glitter surrounding our products today.”
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