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Broadway Boogie Woogie

The work is inspired by Piet Mondrian, a pioneer of 20th-century abstract art. I selected a part of his famous painting Broadway Boogie Woogie and processed the elements in this work dynamically to make them move and become more vivid than the original work.

produced by: Mingxuan Jiang


Broadway Boogie Woogie is composed of jumping squares and neat lines. The squares of the picture resemble the rhythm of jazz music, and the horizontal and vertical lines resemble the traffic network in the city. It makes me feel that the city where this work was born is prosperous and distinctive. Therefore, I hope to make this work more vivid to show the New York where Piet Mondrian lived in the 1940s.

Concept and background research

In 1940, Piet Mondrian moved to Manhattan, New York to avoid the war. The works he completed here have more complex lines and visual perception than previous works. Just by combining squares and lines, one can feel the prosperous characteristics of New York. At the same time, he fell in love with jazz music here, and tried to add the rhythm and drum beats of jazz music into the work. The active elements in these pictures are the key factors that attracted me to this work. They represent not only the rhythm of jazz music, but also the traffic on the streets of New York. By making them jump or move, I hope to be able to restore the New York scene in the 1940s. 

Therefore, I designed a total of 6 scenes. The first four scenes are the details of Broadway Boogie Woogie. I enlarged them and showed the movement of some color blocks. Then the camera gradually raised, showing more changes in the urban landscape and details.

  • For loop
  • If else
  • void function
  • namespace: Group elements in 6 different scenes
  • vector: Adjust the screen zoom direction
  • sort: Set the square order from red, blue, gray to yellow
  • time: Calculate the current time and initial time of the animation
  • scale: When scene 4 moves to scene 5, and scene 5 moves to scene 6, set the scale ratio
Future development

In the future, I hope to restore all the pictures of Broadway Boogie Woogie and use a more streamlined code method. I also hope to appropriately add original jazz melody to match the dynamics of the picture and change in real time to make the work more perfect. And restore more of Piet Mondrian's artworks in the future to make them more vivid and modern.

Self evaluation

In this re-creation of Broadway Boogie Woogie's work, I encountered many challenges and difficulties, which greatly exercised my thinking in coding and solving problems. In terms of the completion, my original plan was to restore all the scenes of the work, but in practice, because there are too many square elements that need to be controlled on the scene, it is difficult to achieve the best moving effect, so I only selected part of the work to re-creation. At the same time, in the plan, due to lack of sufficient thinking, I encountered many challenges in the actual code. For example, the yellow color block was set at the bottom layer of the scene, but in some scenes, the yellow should be located at the top layer of the screen. After many times of debugging, the expected effect was not achieved. In the end, I achieved this effect by adding a fixed yellow square again, but I think there is still a more effective way to help solve this problem. 

In addition, some squares have special characteristics. When they move, they do not need to move the distance of the entire scene, but move to a certain place and then appear from the starting point. These problems were not considered in my initial design.