Chiaroscuro is a culmination of contrasts; the interplay of light and dark, the tangible and intangible, the old and new. 


The installation is a contemporary interpretation of "Chiaroscuro", a term more commonly associated with 17th century painting, that is as hand-made as it is digitally enabled. 

— Chiaroscuro is a contemporary interpretation of the 17th century painting term, the interplay of light and dark. It is a hypnotic audio-visual installation in which layers of light illuminate an environment of hand-crafted large-scale paper sculptures.

Musee D'art Moderne et Contemporain Géneve
Geneva, Switzerland
May 2-10, 2013
Commissioned by Mapping Festival​


 Collaboration is an exercise in behavioral empathy

 Collaboration is an exercise in behavioral empathy

Drawing Operations Unit: Generation 1 is the 1st stage of an ongoing study of human and robotic interaction as an artistic collaboration.


Generation 1:


Installation, 2013

Drawing in the installation is the fundamental element -- spanning the physical structure, the light-mapping and the projection itself. By digitizing the drawing, the simple expression of mark-making becomes transmutable. It is reinterpreted to take on a new form and dimension in the software -- it transforms into structures manipulatable through time.








If drawing is a metaphor for basic human expression, Chiaroscuro is an immersive installation that augments the drawn image in scale, sound, and scope by harnessing the imaginative potential of interdisciplinary processes and technologies.















Exhbition & Performance

Drawing performances are 10 minutes in length. The collaboration is entirely improvised and showcases a process of human & robotic co-creation.













Creative direction by: Sougwen Chung
Original Music by Praveen Sharma
Technical direction: Andrien Boulanger
Arduino Programming by: Adam Harvey
Structural Supports by: Square Fabrication
Filmed by: Linda Cavaliero, Marcelline Gamma



Thanks to: Ana Ascensio, Boris Edelstein, Adrien Boulanger, Justine Beaujouan, Loic Shutter, Audrey Powell, Jorge Escobar, Yves Evequoz, Nonotak Studios, Wengnam Yap, Adi Panuntun, Sony Budi Sasono, Gaz Bushell, Anthony Rowe, Linda Cavaliero, BLACK OUT ( ), Adrien Boulanger, Fanny Visser, Will Wires Dardelin, Fabrice Giraud, Fabio Manozzi



works by sougwen

GENESIS (2024)what becomes of the human hand?

Assembly Lines (2022)a painting performance with a robotic swarm connected to the flow of a city

Mutations of Presence (2021)Exploring spectrality through sequencing bio-feedback to a machine

F.R.A.N. Flora Rearing Agricultural Network (2020)exploring machine and flora as part of a sympoietic, self-supporting networked system with human as gardener.

Exquisite Corpus (2019)a performance installation exploring human, machine, and ecological bodies

Omnia per Omnia (2018)a painting performance with a robotic swarm connected to the flow of a city

Into The Light (2019)an audiovisual AR installation

Artefacts (2019)a human and machine collaborative drawing

Drawing Operations (2018)a human and machine collaborative duet

Drawing Operations (2017)a human & machine drawing collaboration involving memory.

Drawing Operations (2015)a human & robot drawing collaboration involving mimicry

Chiaroscuro (2013)a spatial interplay of light and shadow as an immersive installation

Preparatory Gestures (2017)a series of sculpture studies in VR

Mycelia (2018)a series of sculptures inspired by bio-inspired cognition

Ecdysis (2013)a study in performative architecture

High Tide (Étude Op. 2, No. 4)a painting exploring the dynamics of change

The Limitless, The Absolute (2017)a painting inspired by the 八卦 Trigrams of the IChing

Cardia (2012)a short film depicting a transgression from interior to exterior

Apolysis (2014)a short film in collaboration with Clint Mansell

Untitled (Étude Op. 1, No. 1-4)a series of drawings exploring synesthesia

Chiaro Oscuro Prototypesa series of form studies with paper

Topographies (2015)a series of paintings inspired by nature and flow states

Dénouement (Recurrent fevers of unknown origin)

Sougwen 愫君 Chung is a Chinese-Canadian artist and researcher. Chung is the founder and artistic director of ⇢ SCILICET, a studio exploring human & non-human collaboration.

A former research fellow at MIT’s Media Lab, Sougwen is considered a pioneer in the field of human-machine collaboration – exploring the mark-made-by-hand and the mark-made-by-machine as an approach to understanding the dynamics of humans and systems. 

— Sougwen 愫君 Chung is a Chinese-born, Canadian-raised artist & (re)searcher based in London / New York / Hong Kong.

— Sougwen 愫君 Chung is a Chinese-born, Canadian-raised artist & (re)searcher based in London / New York / Hong Kong.

— Sougwen 愫君 Chung is a Chinese-born, Canadian-raised artist & (re)searcher based in London / New York / Hong Kong.

Copyright Sougwen Chung