Ephemeral consists of site-specific AR installations. It explores the technique of objectifying emotions into augmented reality scenes at specific locations. Users see through a mobile app to watch these stories and experience the emotions.


How it works: Users who download the app have to go to the exact location in order to see the virtual installations.  

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The Idea for this project: With all the buzz words about AR nowadays I started to wonder: is there any other usage for AR technology besides looking for Pokemons and putting furnitures together.  For example, Can we install the AR like we would in art exhibition?   

Serving as an platform, AR has its only advantage for art work display: it's already site-specific. As for the term "site-specific" it means audience need to be at certain location in order to see the artwork. With AR, when users are holding there mobile device look at the virtual installations, they are already in situation. It is easier to trigger audience emotions when they are in an immersive environment to look at or experience an artwork. 

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The Story of the installations is inspired by a personal story. During my first summer in New York, since my apartment is close to the Hudson River Park, I always took them to the park for a walk in the evenings. They shared their stories of the city with me. From my memory,There are three feelings that are especially strong: Loss and exploration, Desperation and Excitement.

I created 3 installations that has a story represents each emotion.  involving three different friends and situations they were going through.



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This installation is inspired by a friend of mine. She left NY at June 2017 because of her visa status after she spend 7 years in the city and try to make it as an actress. The last time we meet at the park she said “I will come back in 2 month and we can start to plan out our interactive play. I already find us several potential investors.”

This pose is inspired by our last conversation and how she looks in my memory. She was excited back then and she did not know her visa will be a problem. After she go back to Singapore, she never came back. 


Since the human sculpture is static I also created some flocking birds to fly around it to create a memorial and cinematic feeling as well as enhance the feeling of excietment.  


Loss and exploration


This installation is inspired by a friend who visited at Sep 2015. Back then, she broke up from a 8 years long relationship and lost her job at the same time. I created the particle behind her to enhance the loneliness feeling. 



Desperation is inspired by a friend who visited me at Nov 2016. He was visiting his girlfriend mother in the city try to make a good impression, and he told me he’s gonna propose at the end of that year. The pose is inspired by him waiting for the train at the station

Even though my friends left, but their stories and emotions are still stay with me, and strongly associated with Hudson River Park. Therefore, one of the key function of this app is only display the installations at certain geo-location.


The Technology used for Ephemeral are Swift 4 (iOS development), ARKit, Shader, Core Locations. After getting user’s current location, If user is more than 1 mile away from Hudson River Park , it will show the default interface, if it is under 1 mile  it will show the AR interface. I use Blender to build the model and change the texture into wireframe for both the human and birds.  I choose the wireframe texture for both of my human model and birds because I want the AR installations to look like a shadow at day time and glowing at night. 

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