Deep Time Fable

Master Project

Jan.-May 2021
Illustration & Animation by Hsin-Yi Wang
Sound Design by Hsin Shyu

​A rumour spreads in the city of Edinburgh: "The volcano is going to erupt," first said the unknown. As time goes by, the volcano is extinct, the landscape has changed, but the rumour has never stopped among birds.


This is a deep-time journey across different times and spaces in the city of Edinburgh, showing the three hundred million years landscape's story with birds' whispers.

Project description

The fable is based on my previous video works ‘A Different Time,’ which is a research journey into geologic time in the landscape of Edinburgh. The video stories in my previous work are now rearranged and reconnected as a single fable. It starts with a rumour among birds about volcano eruption, which hasn't really happened in the past 340 million years since the volcanoes in Edinburgh are already extinct, and then flows with birds from the Union Canal to the North Sea. Along with the bird's movement, I aim to encourage and entice the audience to travel back to a time when the landscape had barely any human trace and to reflect on our current environment. 

This project displays two different mediums - illustration and animation. Both mediums follow the same storyline but develop into a combined distinct narrative. The illustration shows an overlapping timescape, while the animation unfolds the process of temporal change.


The illustration focuses on overlapping different time periods. The main series of drawings are developed from my previous video research, the other supportive drawings are a new development for connecting the stories between distinctive locations.

Supportive illustrations
Illustrations 300x150mm
canal expand
Ghosts from the past in the Union Canal
Waverley station expand
Waverley Station was under water
holyrood expand
Wandering in front of the extinct volcano in the Holyrood Park
Water of Leith expand
Floods strike Water of Leith
Volcano image expand
The Castle was once a volcano
Meadows expand
The Meadows was once a loch
seat expand
Swimming on the shimmering St Margarets Loch
Leith port expand
There is not way connects to the North Sea
Time-lapse video of drawing process
Drawing development

Each drawing develops from long-term observation of space and the style is influenced by my architectural background, which delicately captures specific details. Also, the drawing process is built up slowly layer by layer collaging images and transforming into animation more easily.

Related project

The story in my master project is adapted from the landscape stories I explored in other video works.

A Different Time

Oct.-Dec. 2020
Interactive video website (Link in bio)
7 video stories of the landscape in Edinburgh

The video map is based on a chronological map that shows the earliest urban pattern in Edinburgh, which is very different from today’s landscape. On this map, the current location of Waverley train station and The Meadows were once a loch, Edinburgh Castle and The Royal Mile are the first construction, and the extinct volcanoes are always there. The map mainly comprises 7 stories of the ‘timescape’, a takeaway show, and a short animation.

The Scale of Flood

March 2020
Motion graphic for ECCI project
Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation


A scale is a tool invented by humans for measuring space and time. Through the measurement, from a tiny spatial scale to massive timescale things become quantifiable and perceptible. In the water of Leith, climate change has accelerated the flooding frequency and the peak of water level is anticipated to reach 4 meters height in zones with flooding in the next 30 years; however, the change is too trifle to be sensed in our daily life. I aim at visualizing this indiscernible change of floods by showing the transformation of water lines in distinctive scales, hence the scale of the flood is capable to be perceived in this video.


I am a multidisciplinary artist with a design background. Influenced by the methodologies in architecture design, my practice responds to the environment and culture that surrounds me; currently, strongly inspired by the Scottish landscape where I live. Understanding Scotland’s ancient geologic history is at the heart of my research.

My works centres around the topics of deep time, temporality, and volcanic landforms. My fascination with deep time, which plays the most important role in my work, is not only about geological timescales but I’m also concerned with environmental issues such as climate change and the Anthropocene. Hence, there is always an ecological consciousness behind my work. In terms of narrative, telling the story of the landscape is a key component and an essential methodology in my studio and theoretical enquiry. The context is often set by my field and academic research, seeking to reflect the existing environment and intertwining imaginings that transcend time and space.

Using visual media, I recently explored the geological story of Edinburgh through photography, film, illustration, and animation, mixing different media to tell a more complete time story.

Skills & Experience
  • Group Exhibition - A Continuation of Autumn, 2020, Johnson Terrace Wildlife Reserve, Edinburgh
  • Group Exhibition - envelop, 2019, Tent Gallery, Edinburgh
  • Group Exhibition - By Leaves, We Live. 2019, Tent Gallery, Edinburgh
  • Upcoming Film - When are you going to cut the grass?, screened at the IUCN World Conservation Conference, Marseille