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The side valley

In response to the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence, The Side Valley (also known as Catching Winds in Ruyi Valley), expands the possibilities of new media art by incorporating unpredictable outcomes generated through machine learning. Located within the unique intersection of natural and cultural experiences found in the Ruyi Valley of Zhejiang, China, the "Cultural Wormhole" project captures the essence of the valley's summit. Its intention is to challenge visitors' perceptions of their surroundings and prompt nuanced reflections on both nature and time.


The Side Valley, a result of the seamless integration of real-time graphic rendering and projection mapping, utilizes machine deep learning. Over a period of four months, the model is trained on photographs of the sky taken at different times, ultimately generating a representation of the sky above Ruyi valley. The image generation process relies on three models created through deep learning, specifically employing the widely used Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) structure within the realm of image generation. The GANs are instrumental in collecting and correlating images based on input, unveiling patterns within the collection. The source images, comprising 6400 photographs of the sky above Ruyi Valley's lake at Lac Brenet, are categorized by time to train three distinct models, each tasked with generating a new image.

These trained models dynamically generate real-time images atop the lake surface sculpture, triggered by real-time wind speed and direction at Ruyi Valley's lakeside. The continuous fluctuations in data result in gradual alterations to the generated images, which are then introduced through fluid simulation. The final presentation appears as a water surface projection. In the interplay of real and nuanced changes in light and shadow, visitors can perceive the invisible forces at play within the Ruyi Valley landscape within the confines of the artwork's space.

As spectators engage with the installation, reminiscent of the summit of Ruyi Valley, they encounter an experience that blurs the lines between reality and illusion, simplicity and complexity. The Side Valley, facilitated by real-time connections, encourages viewers to embark on a journey of exploration within the familiar, discovering the unknown facets that lie beneath the surface.

Artwork by Jiayu Liu


Audemars Piguet X Jiayu Liu X Robb Report


Project assistant

Sean Lu

Technology & Production & Artists & Engineers Technical Director

Louis Mustill Creative Graphics Programming: William Young






James C Wilkie



Wanlong Ma


First launch Venue

Chao Art Centre


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