3D WoodArt

Projects, Sculpture

Taking the concept of PinArt, Bensen imbued in his own passion for Art and enthusiasm for Science to create a magical and unique design. Behind this spectacular venture, lies a personal story of love and union.

Written by Heng Yiwei


It all began with a fascination for a toy made of an array of pins that would rise up and down vertically with applied pressure. The different heights of the pins would create a 3-dimensional relief, hence imprinting one’s face, hand or feature with the pins. This toy, known as PinScreen or 3D Image Sculpture Pin Point Impression Frame (3DISPPIF) Toy, caught Bensen’s eye and left a deep impression in him. For close to three decades, Bensen has always wanted to enlarge the PinScreen into a grandiose art piece, instead of merely a toy. To accomplish this idea, Bensen knew he needed an expert to process an image with an algorithm, which would generate the depth of field for the pins to realign into the 3D image. However, the only thing Bensen knew at that point about digital image processing was how to use his digital camera, pixels that create an image, and Photoshop for effects or brushing away some red eyes.

Bensen would have already forgotten about his idea if not for Pina Marziliano, who was not yet his wife then. Sitting in a café in Bali a couple of years ago, Marziliano reawakened his desire in turning the toy into a piece of artwork and the whole concept of expanding on the PinScreen came back to him. Back then, Bensen knew that Marziliano was a professor in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Little did he know that her field of expertise lies in the area of digital signal and image processing. As Bensen shared with her his story, he knew the key to realizing his dream was just sitting next to him, sipping her Balinese coffee, with a smile from ear to ear.

3D WoodArt embodies the fusion of art and science, a precious creation of the union of Bensen the artist and Marziliano the scientist. Sometimes, art and science are inseparable and science is needed to fulfill a long-kept artistic dream. To Bensen, 3D WoodArt is, undoubtedly, a significant concept that is more than just an art installation.



3D WoodArt creates three-dimensional images with fine rods made of hard wood for stability and sustainability. Unlike usual sculptures made of one solid medium, 3D WoodArt is shaped by a multitude of unique wooden rods of different thickness, adding on to its exquisiteness and detailed beauty. Each wooden rod is aligned at different positions based on a specific algorithm, which Marziliano and members of her research team has successfully generated. The algorithm is able to determine the position and height of each rod in reference to the image. As the rods are put in order, the rods will cast shadows and reflect light to capture the image with a 3D impression.

3D WoodArt is a majestic installation aimed at reconstructing images into a three dimensional relief. While originally conceptualised to create art pieces, 3D WoodArt is a widely versatile piece that can be modified for any use. More importantly, the algorithm behind the piece of art can be harnessed into diverse disciplines; it can be used to create three-dimensional puzzles for children, to fashion furniture or even construct building models. The vast application of the algorithm can be explored further, which large potential to be used in a lot more areas than just for an aesthetic purpose.

Currently, Bensen is working on constructing life-size facial impressions of iconic figures on the 3D WoodArt. With the right technology, it will not be long before 3D WoodArt becomes a live kinetic installation that is able to capture three-dimensional images and morph into them instantaneously. 3D WoodArt is a grand piece of art, ideal for any environment designed to impress and enchant viewers.

Join PABensen in making 3D WoodArt a reality today.