Filter-artists making their mark on the new creative frontier

By Ben Ilobuchi on August 28, 2020

Instagram face-filters: what was initially introduced as a piece of novelty software to let us see what we would look like as a puppy or a senior citizen, has become a tool for artists to make their wildest aesthetic dreams an (augmented) reality. From optical illusions to impossible eyewear, here are five filter-artists making their mark on the new creative frontier.

Asagi ︎

The artist simply is known as ‘asagi’, a Tokyo-based AR engineer who’s worked with the likes of BIGYUKI, Ryohu and Young Juvenile Youth. Their mind-bending filters like Gunya and Dorodoro turn human silhouettes into windows to another reality, stretching and warping pixels to turn subjects into digital spectres.

Helena Dong ︎

Helena Dong is a designer who creates eye-popping Dadaist style glasses and clothing and has worked with the likes of Dion Lee and Vaquera. However, imaginative as she has been able to be thus far, it’s obvious the real world was too limiting for the Melbourne and New York-based creator. But with AR, Dong has been able to ‘manufacture’ abstract eyewear that defies the laws of physics. From her first project Orbit to her most recent one, Ⓑubble Glass, Dong’s floating eyewear will transport you to the utopian, Sorayama-chrome future of your dreams.

Jenny Yoo ︎

Jenny Yoo has designed AR programs that do almost anything, from giving you giant ears to letting you integrate, scale and move photos during videos in real-time. However, their most attention-grabbing creation is a filter that enables the user to take purikura photos, kitschy graphics and overlays included.

Shangjin Yu ︎

Shangjin Yu is a Chinese graphic-designer whose unique personal style has made it into their filter-work. Yu’s filters draw visual inspiration from early-2000s metal and cyber-goth culture, adorning the user with chromed out tribal designs and holographic heads-up-displays.

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