Raven Kwok is a visual artist, animator and creative technologist. His artistic and research interest mainly focus on exploring generative visual aesthetic brought by computer algorithms and software processes. Inspired by the likes of Yugo Nakamura and Eric Jordan, he taught himself how to program in ActionScript and started to create Flash animations in his teens. His works have been exhibited and screened at media art and film festivals worldwide, including Ars Electronica, Electronic Language International Festival (FILE), Vienna Independent Shorts (VIS), Punto y Raya (PyR), Resonate, FIBER, etc.
He was invited to be the second speaker in the Live International Masterclass: Creativity & Design event organised by The One Academy and he spoke on his general workflow, that is, starting a feasibility study on one subject, exploring its possibilities in various directions, then pushing up complexity to get the final results. Starting from his research on K-D Tree structure back in late 2016, Kwok traced all his experiments and creations that were derived from this research, and explain their transitional connections.
Raven kicked off the session with a little background on himself and how his interest in this field began. Starting out, he had initially used the Adobe Flash software for animation. Inspired by Chinese animator Zhu Zhiqiang’s Internet Flash cartoon series ‘Xiao Xiao’, Raven’s design were mostly stickmen fighting each other with superpowers in the early stages. However, upon delving into ActionScript and being introduced to code and programming, he was amazed by the unlimited possibilities of coding. This was the beginning of him combining art and programming, albeit in an ambiguous way at first.
Inspired by games such as ‘Eye4U’, ‘Neostream VII’, ‘Yugo Nakamura’, ‘Tokyo Plastic’ and more which exhibited interesting motion and interactivity, he kept pushing forward and learning more about this field. During the sharing, Raven shared about his research in K-D Tree (or K-Dimensional Tree), a space-partitioning data structure for organising points in a k-dimensional space. He then went on to produce a K-D Tree demo explaining how he often creates big projects from simple, small ideas.
During the Q&A session, participants were full of questions and the creative professional did not disappoint. Touching on various topics which include in depth details about his work, the digital media industry, expectations of creative designers and the future of the field. His advice to the audience was “to always be mentally ready to get out of your comfort zone and be prepared to struggle, and struggle a lot to make any progress. For myself, I had to read various papers on geometrical forms, mathematical forms and sometimes I had to struggle in understanding them but always remember to persevere and success will come”. He also advised the creative youth to immerse themselves in research and happenings all around them as it gives you a perspective and provides inspiration for creative thought and general procedure to create.