Sheung Yiu: Everything is a Projection

During the pandemic, Sheung Yiu (HK/FI) started digitising everything on his desk at home, the inevitable confined space to which he was bound during quarantine. He created 3D models of a total of 81 objects and added texture details using a computer graphic technique known as projective texturing. This way, he transformed his physical desktop into a three-dimensional digital world.

In 3D computer graphics, photographs are not the final product, but data to be extracted. Texture maps, normal maps and UV maps, created from photographic data, describe the reflective properties of an object in a virtual world. They instruct the rendering engine to calculate the correct pixel values to generate a scene that is photorealistic to the human eye.

The digitisation of his desktop produced a dataset of digital objects that became an archaeological site of his everyday life. An intimate but also strangely generic space, unmoored from its fixed position, beyond the boundaries of the wall, distributed across time and space.

‘Everything Is a Projection’ explores one of many visual systems that form the backbone of virtual reality and gaming, and exposes the inner mechanisms of computer graphics that increasingly shape our world. The book combines a vast collection of various maps and 3D objects, and includes an interview with Jaakko Lehtinen, head researcher at NVIDIA.