The Myth of Mountains and Seas

An interactive installation based on Processing and Arduino

Nov 2018 – Dec 2018
Academic Project | Tsinghua University, China

Interactive Technology, Interactive Media Design

concept designer, interaction designer, programmer, character designer


This is an interactive installation based on Arduino and processing. The Ancient Chinese book The Classic of Mountains and Seas was relived using interactive media; the monsters featured in the book are shown in 3-dimensional mountain backgrounds using dynamic projection and shadow play which changes accordingly as the viewer progresses through the scene.


The Classic of Mountains and Seas, is a classic Chinese text compiled of mythical geography and figures. Readers over the past hundreds of years have been both baffled and amazed by the imaginary world it creates. According to studies of the book, we could tell the writer of the book got the inspirations of the stories from various old paintings.

I want to use interactive media to help modern people relive the world of The Classic of Mountains and Seas, a world where fiction and reality intertwines. I want to use projectors and “shadow play” to show several kinds of beasts from the book, then use interactive technology to enable the audience to interact with the beasts.

Prototype & Interaction

"mountains" paperboard model + projection

Switching between day and night

Zhuyin plays the beast who controls day and night.
The projected beasts change as the day and the night shift.


When Zhuyin opens his eyes, it’s the day.


When Zhuyin closes his eyes, it’s the night.

Interactive sound and description

When the beasts show up, the sensor will play a sound of the beast and project a written description of the beast.

Shadow play

When the audience gets closer to the cave, the cave will light up, attracting the audience to look inside. Some caves contain beasts, some don’t. The audience needs to explore themselves. I use the “shadow play” technique to show the beasts.

Qiong Qi is eating a person starting from the head inside.

At this moment, Huan appears immediately in the sky riding a cloud and his auspicious spirit drives Qiong Qi away.


I used Arduino and human-body infrared sensor to enable the audience to interact with the beasts.