Anji Liu's Crafting Realism in 3D Art: Bridge between Dreams and Realism

3D art

3D art, encompassing a wide range of three-dimensional creative works—from sculpture to 3D printing—is one of the most popular art forms today. Many artists are leveraging this contemporary technology to produce photorealistic, abstract, or otherworldly visuals from scratch, particularly within the abstract realm. For example, the renowned MoMA exhibition titled "Unsupervised," featuring amazing 3D digital artwork by Refik Anadol, has gained significant popularity and attention. Known for his groundbreaking media works and public installations, Anadol creates digital artworks that unfold in real time, continuously generating new and mesmerizing forms that envelop viewers in a large-scale immersive experience. While numerous artists use 3D digital artwork to translate their imagination into abstract concepts, Anji Liu—an artist exploring the field of 3D digital artwork—aims to infuse 3D art with a sense of realism. He endeavors to use his three important dreams to reconstruct the dream realm and showcase it, offering a unique blend of reality and imagination.

In the initial video, you can observe a man descending into a yellow desert, his hand parched by the wind. A towering needle looms nearby, seemingly leaving a scar on the man. Anji mentions that the man's tattoos serve as a starting point, symbolizing the "scar." This one-minute artwork is inspired by Anji's childhood dream, which he recurrently experienced during bouts of fever.
Moving forward, a young boy is depicted playing a hiding game with his eyes covered in the subsequent video. The sound of a beating heart can be heard in the background. When he lowers the red neckerchief and uncovers his eyes, he discovers that the entire playground is empty, with no one else to play with him. Anji mentions that this scene draws from his childhood experiences: while others were diligently studying, he always longed to be on the playground. This theme also recurs in his dreams, evoking a relatable feeling of solitude.

Lastly, in the concluding video, a young man is observed running and escaping from something dreadful within a Soviet-style building, characterized by its vast, cold, and impersonal atmosphere, with numerous surveillance cameras present. Anji mentions that this recurring dream is perhaps influenced by the increasing prevalence of surveillance cameras in China, a phenomenon that tends to cause tension.

"In the process of creation, it serves as therapy for me. Every time I work on this, I delve into remembering the details of memories and explore the triggers behind them—those intriguing metaphors that I wish to convey to my audience. I created this character in the film, and based it on myself. The character is somehow me in the virtual world expression. It also serves as a great meditative practice to calm myself down and reassess my own being," expressed Anji Liu.
When asked why he chose this realistic material to showcase, he said, "Many people prefer to use a cyberpunk or futurism style when it comes to 3D digital art. But I want to do something special, to create a reproduction of past memories and dreams in my mind." Another interesting aspect is that Anji immerses himself in this virtual digital world, where the little boy represents his past self and connects to the cherished moments he experienced.