Tamiko Thiel   Online Portfolio








Brush the Sky

Permanent site specific public art installations + gallery installations, 2015-2016
Tamiko Thiel: Augmented reality, digital prints / Midori Kono Thiel: Japanese calligraphy & mylar hangings

On-site Artworks * AR launch map     Gallery Artworks    Videos    FacebookBlog    About


9e2 Seattle Festival ONLY October 21 - 29:
See Midori's unique calligraphy mylar hangings and take an AR tour:
12 noon: Oct. 22, 23 with Tamiko / Oct. 29 with cousin Simon Kono, himself a talented computer artist!


On-site augmented reality (AR) artworks::

For millennia East Asian artists have enhanced paintings with calligraphy, the abstract,
graphic qualities of the brush strokes reverberating with the meanings of text and image.

In “Brush the Sky,” a mother-daughter duo brings this ancient art into the 21st century:

Transparent wall hangings by Midori Kono Thiel emphasize the abstract nature of calligraphic art by deconstructing Japanese characters across multiple layers. Her daughter Tamiko Thiel enhances both gallery installations of these hangings, and sites of family history around Seattle, with augmented reality (AR)* overlays. These virtual artworks further de- and re-construct Midori's boldly abstract, gestural calligraphy into visual poems, marking sites of this Japanese American family's four generations of involvement with Seattle.

Brush the Sky premiered in CONSTRUCT\S, an exhibit of installations by Asian American women artists, curated by Stacey Uradomo-Barre, in the Wing Luke Museum. It was exhibited in 2016 in the Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival, and in the 9e2 Seattle media art festival, for which the artists created an additional calligraphy+augment.

The site specific augmented reality installations are permanent public artworks around Seattle.


Access AR artworks 'live' on site:

If you are standing at a site you can view AR artworks 'live,' overlaid on the camera view of your surroundings, via an AR app for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

  • Install free Layar app from get.layar.com on Apple or Android smartphones (enable location access!)

  • You need to physically go to one of the sites in order to view the augments.


Print out our 11"x17" AR tour guide, with map and instructions to launch AR artworks.


Launch AR artworks from our mARp (AR launch map):

  • click here for mARp - AR launch map.
  • touch site marker on map itself (not in list)
  • click its pop-up info box
  • then click link to open in Layar app.

If you are not on site, or if you are on a PC, you won't be able to view the live AR, but can still read the documentation!


Brush the Sky mARp

Viewing AR artwork on mobile device

Brush the Sky premiered at:

CONSTRUCT\S exhibition
Curated by by Stacey Uradomo-Barre
May 15, 2015 - April 17, 2016

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian American Experience (Smithsonian Institution Affiliate)

For documentation of the gallery component of
"Brush the Sky" see Gallery Artworks page.

Brush the Sky, Wing Luke Museum
Brush the Sky, installation view
Wing Luke Museum, CONSTRUCT\S

* Mobile augmented reality (AR) reifies the hitherto unseen layers of memory and culture associated with a site into artworks visible in the display of a mobile smartphone or tablet AR app. The artist places virtual computer graphic artworks – 2D, 3D or 4D animated - at selected sites via their GPS coordinates. Viewers at that site see the virtual artworks as an overlay on the live camera view of their surroundings, as if the artworks were physically present at that site. The real and the virtual merge into a new experience of reality.