Chengdong Shen's work "Convert Ominous into Propitious" explores the water trigram, one of the eight trigrams in Chinese traditional culture, the Book of Changes. His work presents his description and interpretation of the Water Trigram, which is dangerous in the broad sense of lowlands, swamps and whirlpools in traditional Chinese culture. On a deeper level, it represents dilemma and the unknown. And he understands the water trigram as "Convert Ominous into Propitious ". The balance between "ominous" and "Propitious" is achieved through the idea of "yin and yang" in the Book of Changes, which is called "Convert ". "Ominous" and "Propitious" describe states, representing the negative and the positive. "Convert" is a verb describing the process, representing the balance of yin and yang. More specifically, "Ominous" is the state of being in trouble, "Convert" is the process of breaking the trouble, and "Propitious" is the state of being free from the trouble.
In the design, he summarizes the characteristics of the water trigram as trapped, which presents the state of swamp and whirlpool on the one hand, and the state when we are in a dilemma and unknowns on the other. And as "yin and yang" express, everything has a positive and negative side. Therefore, while the water trigram represents the dilemma and unknowns (negative), its positive side is in the water itself, and the characteristic of "soft with tough", which is unique to water, is a way to interpret the negative state of the water trigram.
His experiments and creations revolve around digital software with digital manufacturing. Referring to the working principle of wave, laser-cut components are combined and connected to form a fabric to simulate water's flow and trapped effect. 3D printing is his attempt to use tough materials to create soft fabrics to present the characteristic of water as "soft with tough".