Date of Award

Summer 6-1-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Susan Doyle

Second Advisor

Ran Zheng

Third Advisor

Wenwai Shum


“Good-bye Icarus” is a work that aims to blend art, history, and environmental exploration through illustration, an interactive graphic novel, visual documentation, and programming language narratives.

A year of coastal life in Rhode Island has provided me with endless inspiration in terms of design language. I’ve ventured into blending dynamic visuals from TouchDesigner with illustration, a pioneering approach as far as I’m aware.

My narrative is based on seaside scenery and mythology metaphorical elements, making image programming to capture the essence of waves a focal point and central experiment of my work. Furthermore, after crafting a dynamic design visual language, I use Risograph printing to achieve a granularity as precise as digital programming, integrating book design with content to form a cohesive whole. This exploration seeks to probe the boundaries where design, motion visuals, and illustrative language converge. This work not only provides a platform for my personal design language but also offers insights and strategies for interdisciplinary collaboration in a commercial context in future.

Polish mythologist Bronislaw Malinowski’s functionalist perspective suggests that myths play crucial roles in maintaining and shaping social structures, cultural identity, and values. Myths are not merely ancient stories but active elements in societal functions. This thesis examines the myths of Jingwei and Icarus, exploring their continued resonance in modern society. Both myths feature protagonists struggling against natural forces, reflecting the human impulse to transcend natural limits despite differing motivations. Through an innovative narrative technique involving anonymous characters and interwoven plots, the study contrasts these myths to highlight their functionalist roles and the underlying human motivations. The narrative design aims to evoke deeper reflections on human choices and existential questions.

In digital image processing, images are treated as two-dimensional functions, with each function value representing brightness or color intensity at specific locations. Various image processing effects, such as blurring and edge detection, are achieved through convolution with a kernel function. Mathematical morphology techniques further enhance structural information and noise removal. This study applies pixel-based function transformation programming to re-edit the movement of the ocean surface. This approach symbolizes the unpredictability and uncontrollable forces of nature, paralleling societal challenges faced during 2020-2024. The resulting visuals serve as metaphors for modern societal crises and the necessity of critical choices in the face of such adversity.

By reinterpreting these myths and employing advanced digital techniques, the thesis seeks to bridge ancient narratives with contemporary societal reflections, demonstrating the enduring power and relevance of mythological storytelling in understanding and addressing human experiences and challenges.



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