There are every creature I designed: one with a dragon's head and a cow's body, one with four antlers called the divine deer, and another with four wings called the faceless creature.
Culture Installations Narrative/storytelling VR/AR

Shan Hai

This project is a series of sculptures inspired by the Classic of Mountains and Seas, an ancient Chinese text that documents various mythical creatures and monsters dated back to the 4th century BCE. These sculptures are designed to bring these creatures to life vividly, in a fun and imaginative way. Each sculpture represents a different mythical creature from the ancient text, sculpted and colored meticulously to capture the essence of these mythical beings. There are also new interpretations of storytelling based on Chinese historical texts through the viewing of the sculptures.


Doris dong


Simone Salvo


I remember when I was a primary school student, the first time I came across was in my Chinese language textbook. It was an ancient text that introduced the Kunpeng, titled "The Aspiration of Kunpeng". It was described as a giant bird that could spread its wings and fly a million miles, possessing incredible strength and wisdom. I vaguely remember the phrase "Flying in anger, its wings are like clouds hanging from the sky." However, the content inside puzzled me and I couldn't understand it. After all, it was expressed in the oldest and most traditional way of the Chinese language, which would be difficult for modern people to comprehend. My teacher at that time patiently explained the meaning of each word and helped us annotate the meanings to help us understand the article about Kunpeng. However, despite the detailed explanations from the teacher, I still felt confused and had a hard time truly understanding the content. I simply mechanically memorized the meanings of some words, but did not have a real understanding of the story plot and the image of Kunpeng. During the process of learning, I never even imagined the fantastical scenes and creatures described in the Classic of Mountains and Seas I just looked at those obscure and difficult-to-understand words in the textbook, but couldn't connect them with the real world. Sometimes, I felt like learning the Classic of Mountains and Seas was more like memorizing some irrelevant knowledge, rather than truly understanding its connotations and charm. One day, by chance, I came across the statement, "If parrots become extinct one day, will future generations believe that there is a bird that can learn to speak like a human?" Now I wonder, did Kunpeng really exist? Perhaps like parrots, Kunpeng was also just a mysterious creature described and passed down by humans. Because ancient people did not have the support of modern science and technology, they used words to record those amazing creatures but could not provide actual evidence. This also reminds me, if parrots go extinct in the future, would future generations also consider them as mythical creatures? Although, modern people may think of the mythical creatures in the Classic of Mountains and Seas as just the fantasies and imaginations of ancient humans, merely fictional stories. But it is also possible that behind these ancient texts, there are real ecological phenomena or the wisdom of ancient humans. Probably, we can find profound insights about nature and humanity from them. Just like mythical creatures such as Kunpeng, although they may not exist in reality, they have left behind rich imaginations and cultural heritage in ancient texts. I re-read the Classic of Mountains and Seas, but this time I had a different feeling. I began to appreciate the ancient language and expression methods used in it, although still somewhat obscure and difficult to understand, but I began to feel a unique charm and the weight of history from it. I started to take a keen interest in the mysterious mountains, rivers, and rare flora and fauna described in it, and began to try to imagine the forms and characteristics of those ancient creatures in the Classic of Mountains and Seas.

There are every creature I designed: one with a dragon's head and a cow's body, one with four antlers called the divine deer, and another with four wings called the faceless creature.


Technical Details

According to the description of the mysterious creatures in the Classic of the Mountains and Seas, I designed and painted each creature in Nomad sculpt.  They were then 3D printed in color using Multi-Jet Fusion (MJF) technology. Also, I tried Biomed clear resin material from the stereolithography technology to print some samples and decorations.

Dijiang is a legendary divine bird that lives on the Heavenly Mountains. According to records, Dijiang is shaped like a pocket of yellow cloth, red as fire, with six legs and four wings. It has no ears, eyes, mouth, or nose, but it can sing and dance.Fuzhu is one of the mythical creatures in ancient Chinese legends. It is described as a deer with four antlers, and its appearance is gentle and pure. Fuzhu likes to frolic around, and according to legend, its appearance is often associated with floods.According to the description, the nine-tailed fox lives in Qingqiu country, has four feet and nine tails, sounds like a baby, and is capable of eating people.This is a creature combined with turtle and snake.