With last year’s Mountains & Rivers, Beijing-based designer Particle (aka Gao Yang) started an exploration of generative art, using various noise algorithms to generate pulsating geologic forms. That film emphasized creation, with mountains bursting from nothingness and swelling into vast, imposing structures to the pulse of a score by Density & Time (an almost comically appropriate name considering the film’s subject matter).

岚 The Mist Over Mountains continues the experiment in a much more subdued manner. We aren’t witnessing the act of creation; no mountains bursting from the substrate here. Just the slow reveal of exactly what the title promises — a set of serene landscapes covered in mist.

Particle describes the piece as reflecting an interest in how the cold, rational laws of science can be used “to derive warm and sensual works.” Despite its algorithmic origins, The Mist Over Mountains doesn’t feel mechanical in the least. As a creative piece, it’s fascinating to see how simple instructions can create complex landscapes, how the chaos of machine-generated noise can translate to such serene imagery, and how natural forms can be coaxed from code. It’s the kind of piece that practically begs to be part of an installation, unfolding in new and unseen permutations every time you visit.

Outside all that, though, it’s a crisp, cool film for a sweltering day, a bit of fresh air and respite in tumultuous times. Take a deep breath, and watch the seasons unfold.


Dir: Particle (Gao Yang)

Syn: This is a continuation of the work Mountains & Rivers.
I used various noise algorithms to generate mountains, clouds, mists, textures, and changes of the seasons.

I’ve always been interested in how the laws of science, which are cold and rational, can be used to derive warm and sensual works.

I know it’s been a tough year, and I hope this work will make you at least a little bit relaxed at the moment.

Rendered in Octane Render.

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