Digital Life
The Straits Times, Wednesday, November 25, 2009, p.19


Jewellery made from an equation

Digital artist Lin Hsin Hsin's algorithm-based software can create anything from batik to masks.
EVE YAP reports.

Last Wednesday, one of Singapore's foremost digital artist webcasted her digitally sculpted jewellry and figurines at an e-sculpture event in Metz, France.

This is the sixth time in 10 years that Lin Hsin Hsin has been invited to the biennial Intersculpt.

In 2003, the IT inventor, artist, poet and composer withdrew from the media glare to look after her ailing mother. She has been delivering scientific papers - from Paris to Pisa - and serving as an IT consultant since then.

But Hsin Hsin, who guards details like age and family jealously though she has taken part in more than 200 exhibition in 60 cities, is ready to come out of semi-hibernation.

Her works, she feels, are ready for commercialisation.

In particular, the equation-based single process, which she invented since 2007 as a ramp-up over earlier digital sculpting methods, holds promise.

It ditches traditional 3D geometry modelling, which Hollywood's big animation studios use to come up with realistic action, color and textures.

"My software can do all this in a finger snap, with just three equations" who has a postgraduate degree in computer science from the University -of-Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Britain.

Working on a trusty 64-bit x60 IBM laptop, her three-equation foundation can design anything from Balinese face masks to batik motifs and create 3D objects from lamp shades to kimonos. The potential of the software linked to machinery to manufacture cups, chairs -- and marketed as Singapore export -- could bring more than small change for this country.

She is now waiting for commercial takers. Early this year, she proposed to several agencies involved in the organsing of Apec the idea of using her program to creating her digital computed and individualized momentos fro delegates. The idea, she said, was to create designs made by cutting-edge technology that were also eco-friendly

The answer was no; the agencies wanted handcrafted "gift from the heart", she said.

Her retort: "So, was my brain which created the program not connected to hands and were my hands not connected to my heart?"

Funding, for instance, to patent her technology, is also scarce.

She turned to a local government agency in July, but drew a blank. The rejection: "We sponsor IT, not art."

A pity, said the woman, whose computer-churned 3D structures can be animated in one click, Web-enabled and powered by Linux on a 56MB USB memory stick.

Banish the need for overnight rendering and big machines, reducing carbon emissions.

Since 1994, the mouse and mathematics have been her tools of choice for the 100,000 or so pieces of digital artworks.

The prototypes of her equation-based jewellery were freshly minted last months. "I am all ready to take commissions for personalised or limied-edition designer jewellery."