Sketch 8: An introduction to the Chinese mathematical art

fig_008We know quite a lot about mathematical art in the West. Hundreds of papers and books were written about Islamic art. Some researchers explored mathematical patterns in tribal art from both Americas as well as from Africa. However, we know very little about mathematical art in Chinese culture.

There are numerous examples of artistic creations in China that have very strong mathematical background. We can find them in geometric patterns on silk fabrics, on Chinese ceramic ware, in furniture as well as in windows and doors of Chinese buildings.

In this paper we are going to look at some of these patterns from a transformation geometry point of view. Our main target will be geometric patterns in wooden lattices in windows and doors. We will be interested which of the plane symmetry groups are represented in these patterns and how they can be modeled with dynamic geometry software. All examples analyzed in this paper are modeled with Geometer’s Sketchpad.  The paper will demonstrate numerous examples taken from real buildings as well as their computer models.

The complete document in PDF format is here: sketch_08


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