The film featured below illustrates the opening and closing sequence of an early canal lock: The Duke’s Lock on the Oxford Canal.
“The Oxford Canal is a 78-mile (126 km) narrow canal in central England linking Oxford with Bedworth, near Coventry. Completed in stages between 1770 and 1790 during the English Industrial Revolution, it connects to the River Thames at Oxford and is integrated with the Grand Union Canal. The canal was for approximately 15 years the main canal artery of trade between the Midlands and London; it retained importance in its local county economies and that of Berkshire.
“Today the canal is frequently used in weekend and holiday narrowboat pleasure boating, as seen above with rented narrowboats passing through Duke’s Lock, No. 44.”
This four minute animation traces the evolution of English country house design from the period 1660 to 1715, which was broadly defined by the arhcitectural style of the English Baroque. Roughly between 1660 (near the end of the English Civil War) and 1715 (with the beginning of the Georgian monarchy from Germany), English Architecture witnessed a profound shift in country house design from the compact and square-ish form of the fortified Elizabethan and late-medieval country house to the more open and less compact plan of the Baroque and later Palladian country house. This shift too in design followed a new embrace of the aesthetic relationship between country house and its surrounding, bucolic landscapes. The objective of this animation sequence is to visually illustrate these aesthetic and architectural changes. Click to watch the video above, or watch the slideshow automatically play below.
This animation sequence is part of the progression to my degree in Architectural History & Theory from Oxford and Columbia University.
Music: Franz Schubert_ Piano Trio in E Flat, Op. 100. Link to soundtrack.
Link to powerpoint presentation here.
Creative Commons permission is granted to download and circulate this video for non-commercial purposes, provided attribution is given to Myles Zhang.
This animation illustrates the Eiffel Tower’s construction from August 1887 to May 1889. Music from Festival of the Animals by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns accompanies the animation for dramatic effect.
The Eiffel Tower was built over 18 months – from August 1887 to March 1889. This film shows the construction sequence, starting with the foundations and ending with the cupola. Model editing and animation in Sketchup; post-production and effects in iMovie.
At the conclusion of my year as an art history student at Oxford University, I chose to base my final research project on Burford Church in Oxfordshire County, England. This is a Grade I listed structure by English Heritage, roughly constructed between 1175 and 1475, with continued modifications in the Victorian era. With the generous supervision of my art history tutor, Cathy Oakes, I visited this humble parish church and constructed a computer model that documents the structure’s gradual construction and expansion over nearly 300 years work. I converted the finished model into a short, two-minute film, featured below. The original source files for this project can also be freely downloaded here from the “3D Warehouse“, a database of architectural models for the use of designers, historians, and researchers. The subtitles of this sequence are transcribed here:
Around 1175, work begins on the Norman church – a simple structure with choir, nave, and tower between. Here we see the structure being erected from east to west. Notice the round Norman windows.
By 1200, a small side chapel is added to the south of the tower. An aisle and entrance foyer on the south are also added. These changes require demolishing part of the existing structure.
By 1250, the side chapel is demolished and replaced by a north transept, south transept and expanded chancel.
By 1400, a crypt is added and the tower extended up. At this point, the architectural style changes from Norman to Gothic – from round arches to pointed.
The local cloth merchants also construct a guild chapel – detached from the main church and built at a slight angle.
By 1475, the guild chapel is partially demolished. On its foundations the Lady Chapel is built.
Meanwhile, most of the remaining nave is demolished to construct two aisles on either side of the nave, a larger west window, and new clerestory-level windows.
Two chapels are added on either side of the choir as well as a 3-story entrance tower. Neither of these additions are visible from this angle.
This completes the construction sequence of Burford Church.
We are now circling around the church – working our way clockwise.
The film below is a brief visual analysis of the church’s architectural fabric. Through my analysis, I seek to understand the following: What is the visual language of Burford Church? What aspects of medieval social and cultural history can be deduced from the church’s decoration? And, in the absence of a written historical record, how can we detect the sequence in which the church was erected on the basis of architectural fragments alone?
View from main street of Burford toward the church.
View from the churchyard.
West façade on left and the Lady Chapel on right.
West façade and entrance.
Norman era entrance to the church, dating from around 1175.
As Newark celebrates the 350th anniversary of its founding in 1666, I created this series of drawings based on historical images and maps of Newark’s downtown. The above video briefly summarizes 350 years of Newark’s history in two minutes.
The sound track accompanying this video was assembled via free audio clips from Freesound. As Newark develops from a small town to a bustling industrial metropolis, the sound track shifts from recordings of quiet woodlands to the din of the vibrant city. And as time passes, the skyscrapers we now see in Newark’s downtown gradually rise.
History is learned textually through reading books, newspapers, and original documents. But, history is experienced visually and acoustically in a way that engages all the senses. History is dynamic, vibrant and three-dimensional, but it is recorded via two dimensional means. This brief history of Newark aims to visually and acoustically represent history as a living and fluid process of transition and change. My aim is not to comprehensively represent Newark’s history but to offer insight into the scope of feel of this storied city’s history.
As Newark looks forward to the future, it stands on 350 years of history that shape the social, economic, and political forces that drive this city forward.
A wind-up music box featuring Jane’s Carousel along the Brooklyn Waterfront. When closed, the antique cigar box measures a mere 7 by 7 by 3 inches deep. When open, the Brooklyn Bridge and historic Jane’s Carousel fold out. The carousel spins to the tune of the music while the moon gently slides across the night sky. Materials: $4 cigar box, $5 wind-up music box, electrical wire (for trees), plastic lids for wheels, string (for motion), tape measure (for spring), tin foil (for water), and thick paper.
New York Skyline
Jane’s Carousel along the Brooklyn Waterfront
The Brooklyn Bridge
Jane’s Carousel with my hand and a pen for scale. Dimensions: 7 by 7 by 3 inches.
As a proud, lifelong Newarker, I’ve spent much of the past few years painting and photographing my changing city. Pictures features a selection of my work, complemented by Mussorgsky’s seminal composition: Pictures at an Exhibition. Five movements out of an original fifteen are selected, each of which represents the feel of a certain part of Newark. The following five locations are featured:
Growing up in Newark, I was inspired and saddened by my inner city environment. I am inspired by Newark’s hope of renewal after decades of white flight, under-investment, and urban neglect. But I am saddened by the loss of my city’s historic architecture and urban fabric to the wrecking ball of ostensible progress. “Renaissance City” depicts the Newark of my childhood with garish signage and decayed structures blanketing my city’s architecture in a medley of color and consumerism.
Urban decay in Newark to the tune of Mozart’s death march (k 453a)
In the summer of 2014, I built a model of New York City containing many of the city’s landmarks, skyscrapers, and a bevy of subway cars. This creation measures a mere 28 by 36 inches and is made entirely of wood, paper, and plastic.