Taiwan artist mixes art and technology at Café Astoria

Leland Lee uses augmented reality to bring his art to life, create moving 3-D images

A work by Leland Lee at the Café Astoria 

A work by Leland Lee at the Café Astoria  (Taiwan News photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Leland Lee (李柏毅) is an internationally renowned artist whose works mix a wealth of life experiences with imagination.

At Taipei’s Café Astoria (明星咖啡館) Lee infuses a youthful effigy with the wonders of modern technology and augmented reality (AR). These create a three-dimensional image that interacts with visitors to the cafe, which is home to Russian literary and culinary traditions.

Some visitors remain on the first floor to order cakes and bread. Others, who venture upstairs to sample Russian dishes or drink coffee, will be confronted with a bookshelf showing off Lee’s art.

Born in the United States in 1989, Lee was noted as an artistic talent at the age of nine. He has won plenty of accolades since then, including being named as one of the 10 outstanding youths of the year in 2013.

At the Café Astoria, Lee has designed Taipei 101-related items, a VIP card, a label for the site’s 70th-anniversary drink bottles, coffee boxes, and murals on the third floor. With the help of AR, visitors' smartphones can be enabled to see flat, immobile artworks spring to life in 3-D and move to the music.