Images   &   Experimentations

Jacques Desbiens                                      Contact










« Graphis », 2009-2010
Synthetic Hologram, 3m X 60cm
Chinese Calligraphy : Yunjeung Yang
Arab Calligraphy : Joseph El Hourany



Graphis” is the latin word for "pencil", a tool for drawing and writing. It is also the title of a large synthetic hologram showing calligraphy of historical texts in Latin, Chinese, Arabic, renaissance French, Greek and Italian. In this 3D composition, texts and objects are spatially associated in three scenes that transform into each other when the observer moves laterally. The quotations come from historical treatises on painting, optics, perspective and calligraphy from authors such as: Zhang Huaiguan (8th c.), Ibn Al-Haitham (Alhazen, 965-1039), Kuo Hsi, (11th c.), Su Dongpo (Su Shi, 1036-1101), Roger Bacon (1214-1294), Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), Jean Pélerin Viator (1445-1524) and Francesco Maria Grimaldi (1618-1663). Placed in the contemporary context of computer generated holography, these quotations may convey meanings beyond what was intended by the authors. Nevertheless and more than ever, they are part of the history of spatial representation.

      Article from the Proceedings of the International Symposium on Display Holography (Cambridge, 2011).: « Content metamorphosis in synthetic holography »

Video of the presentation



Here are a few excerpts from the hologram:


“A mountain viewed at a close range has one appearance; a mountain viewed at a distance of several miles has another. When viewed from a distance of scores of miles, it has still another. The change of appearance caused by the varying degree of distance from the object is figuratively known as “the change of shape with every step one takes.” The front view of a mountain has one aspect; the side view another; the back view still another. The ever changing view from whatever side one looks is described as “different shapes of a mountain as seen from every side.” Thus a single mountain combines in itself several thousand appearances. Should we not realize this fact?

Kuo Hsi, « Lin Ch’üan Kao Chih » (1117)


“Research begins with observation of present things, examination of optical circumstances and discernment of the specificities of their components.”

“I saw that I reach truth only with ideas in which elements are concrete and their images are imaginary.”

Ibn Al-Haitham, “Kitãb al-Manãzir” (c. 1028-1038)


“I am always, since a young age, embarrassed by people’s different convictions, and how each group is attached to their beliefs, and I am myself doubtful of all this.”

Ibn Al-Haitham, “Kitãb al-Manãzir” (c. 1028-1038)

“Diversity of appearances of things in front is always to be considered.”

Jean Pélerin Viator
"De Artificiali Perspectiva" (1505)

“Time isn’t without movement”

“Light multiply itself in time”

Roger Bacon,
"Opus Magus" (1267)

“Just as a stone thrown into water becomes the center and cause of various circles, sound spreads in circles in the air. Thus every body placed in the luminous air spreads out in circles and fills the surrounding space with infinite likeness of itself and appears all in all and all in every part.”

Leonardo da Vinci
"Notebooks", Ms. A, fol. 9 v. (c. 1505)



“My heart is empty, charged with nothing.
Frivolous values don’t matter!
Look on the water of an ancient well,
Ten thousands images come and go...”

Su Dongpo
« Dedication », (11th c.).






© Jacques Desbiens 2019