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AR Talk | Jiatong Liu

Constantly searching for new ways of interacting with digital and physical means, Jiatong Liu – our today’s AR Talk guest – uncovers more about herself, her art, the future of AR and how it all blends together. ✨🧚 Jiatong’s unique style and an innovative approach to digital creations can be seen in her installations, 3D projects, AR Effects and most recently – a digital fashion collection following post-human motives, Second Skin! 🦾👗🧵 Would you like to weAR it? ⭐️ Find out what inspires Jiatong and we guarantee – you’ll feel inspired too!

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Hi Jiatong! ⭐️ So happy to have you back here with us after our 10 Women in AR Edition – and this time for a full AR Talk! Let’s start with your beginnings – how did you stumble upon AR? Do you remember what was your first impression of something (somewhat) fresh?

I think my impression of AR is divided into two stages. The first stage is when I learn about AR technology and use it, I am excited that AR technology breaks the boundaries of digital and physical and the technology is instant in interactive feedback.

The second stage is when I actually apply AR and use it as a language to express my design concepts. Making AR especially during the pandemic has been a great way for me to stay alive and creative, allowing me to explore ways to interact with the physical and digital, or to help me find ways to connect the digital space in the physical space.

We know that you’re currently a student. Does your major involve working with AR? Has studying helped or changed the way you create AR and discover new ways of portraying art? Or maybe the other way around?

I mostly research interaction design and data-driven design. I believe that Augmented Reality technology is a good approach to represent my design concept, and that it is one of the ways in which I may experiment with combining digital and physical elements.

I try to convert digital products into physical products during my studies, and I’ve also converted physical products into digital products. They’re fascinating, innovative, long-term cyclic processes. This process aids in my understanding of the digital and physical worlds, as well as the use of relevant design languages and methods.

Although digital technology is powerful, there are certain technologies that can only be done in the physical world and cannot be done digitally.

Your style is definitely unique – not only when it comes to AR Effects, but also in installations and 3D art. How would you describe your aesthetics? Has it changed over time?

Thank you! I think my description is more akin to a language. It has a lot to do with future themes and Digital Anthropology that I’d like to talk about.At the same time I am obsessed with watching films and books with post-human themes, and I am amazed at the author’s vision of the future of mankind, it is absolutely a huge world, so my aesthetics are influenced by these.

I normally keep track of my ideas and look for ways to put them into action, and I enjoy the creative process of “trying, failing, and trying again.”

This aesthetic resonance will change over time as I learn more about the subject and the external environment, and the manner I articulate it will shift as well.

Before we dig into your recent digital fashion project, let’s talk about this field in general. What do you think about digital fashion – is it the future, is it just a passing trend, or something else? What does digital fashion mean to you?

I think digital fashion is a product of being noticed during the pandemic, and this time has made it go fast , it’s more of a trend that makes up for creative needs and commercial needs that cannot be achieved in the physical world. At the same time, I think that the current status of digital fashion is not the final form. With the development of network speed and digital technology, maybe digital fashion will break the boundaries and exist more in real physical space.

Perhaps clothing in the digital world has no boundaries, and fashion is the item that wraps the wearer in the digital world. Just like we wear face filters online, face filters make us feel fun on social networks, and over time, digital fashion may be more contextual and more dimensional.

For me digital fashion is a window into my future design and I have always been passionate about the fusion of fashion and digital technology and interactive forms. In other words, it is of great significance to better understand virtual fashion, which is applicable to the design of virtual world and is an important part under the framework of virtual world design.

You’ve recently made your own collection of digital clothes and virtual jewelry – we’ve seen the stunning results and those visionary outfits – we have to know more! 🤩 Tell us how you created the Second Skin project – what was the inspiration behind your designs? Was the process of creating a digital collection challenging?

In fact, the concept of this project is related to my consistent research on post-human themes. The topic I specifically want to discuss this time is what would human skin be made of if humans were no longer carbon-based life? Does it reproduce quickly? Will it have desire and autonomy?

I deconstruct and recreate the skin of the three sections of the human body, face, and hand, based on the skin’s self-generating capabilities and using insects as a prototype. I want to learn more about the post-human era, the human-skin interaction, and how humans cohabit with the universe..

Creating a digital collection proved to be a difficult task for me. There are generally more factors to consider when artistry is commercialized.

Time for a hypothetical question. 😉 Would you like to see your digital designs become real ones and be worn physically on catwalks? If so, do you have someone in mind you’d like to see in your digital outfit?

Of course! I’ve been working on a similar project recently, I turned a digital project I’ve done into a physical product, the process was tough but fun! I also look forward to them being worn in real fashion shows.

It’s hard to imagine a specific person wearing them, I think it would be amazing if a confident and energetic person wears them!

As times and preferences change, someday digital fashion and AR won’t be as innovative and futuristic as it is now. How do you see the digital timeline – what are your favorite past AR or digital trends, which are your favorite now, and is there anything you’d love to see happen in the future of Augmented Reality?

I think Augmented Reality in the past was a novel technology developed by engineers, and it was more technical. Now it is a method of expression and application for artists and designers. Art and usability are merged with technology, and artistry and technology are gradually balanced.
Over time, Augmented Reality may be more truly integrated into the real world in the future. Its practicality will be stronger not only limited to the screen, but will appear in more usage scenarios. I hope that in the future Augmented Reality can bring people the joy of instant experience.

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The digital clothing and jewelry made by Jiatong is absolutely stunning and out of this world. 🤩 The meanings, the process, the mind behind this collection – everything! We cannot wait to see what other futuristic concepts Jitaong will come up with. 💜👾 Let’s stay tuned!

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