Werner Sun

Artist / IT Director, Cornell Laboratory for Accelerator-based Sciences and Education
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY

I am interested in how our perceptions are shaped by our innate affinity for patterns. We rely constantly on patterns and ideas to encode our understanding of the complex reality around us. But these patterns can also work against us, acting as preconceived notions that fence us in. Because of my background in physics, I tend to look for patterns everywhere, and I view them both as tools and as tethers, embodying the intimate connection between seeing and thinking.

In my work, I typically begin with digital photographic images printed on paper, which I fold into polyhedral patterns. In this way, my prints are recast as three-dimensional sculptures, while retaining the flatness of images, as viewed through the distorting lens of geometry.

Warp and Weft I
Warp and Weft I
30 x 30 x 3 cm
Archival inkjet print on paper and acrylic on board

This piece began as a photographic print on paper, showing a previously made folded paper construction. By cutting and folding this new print, I have introduced a low-relief sculptural pattern based on the snub square tiling, where each equilateral triangle is replaced by a triangular pyramid (formed from a square cell in the original print). In addition, I have shaded the print so that, when folded, it forms the Cairo pentagonal tiling, which is dual to the snub square. This folding technique results in a textured surface that has the optical effect of disrupting or blurring the original image (one-sixth of which is obscured) while also bringing a sense of order. The submitted image shows two full views and a detail view.