Yuan has three million paintings, prints, and objets d’art lying around, and may start displaying other items as he unpacks.

Because he values innovation more than aesthetics, it’s possible for an offbeat amateur with Mathematica and PS 2021 to maybe kind of sort of approximate what would be on his wall.



Xiyuan Liu
Obfuscating Curvature

The large painting in Yuan’s office is actually a three-dimensional piece with geometry that the comic artist gave up on portraying from this angle. The base geometry is like if a sphere pushed the painting from behind, so that it appears most curved in the middle and least curved at the sides. On top of this spherical base, the pink and white stripes are strips of canvas angled in opposite directions, so that they meet at an acute angle and create parallel ridges along the sphere.

Two different images are on the pink and white bits. When viewed head-on, both images appear distorted. When viewed directly from the left—left relative to the viewer—the angled canvas obscures the white bit, and the curvature obscures half the pink bit, so you see half of the non-distorted pink image. Similarly, for the right, the pink parts vanish and only half of the white image is visible. There’s no way to view the non-distorted full pink or white images. It’s commentary on the nature of perception, yada yada.

Luckily, this visually and geometrically complex piece vanishes into the background in comic form, giving Dolly an excuse to phone it in for a while.


Unknown Artist
Very Different Trains

What’s that you say? “Is that a centered point inversion of the album cover art for Steve Reich’s ‘Different Trains’?” Indeed it is. You’re quite good at this! You probably don’t need me to explain the rest of the art.

Xiyuan doesn’t have the math background to have made this himself, but had an interesting conversation with the person who did.


Some Jingtailang/Cloisonné Guy
Swan Vase

This jingtailang/cloisonné vase shows off Yuan’s animal guide and an art form from the city he was born in. Why a swan? Several reasons: for one, swans are just fancy geese, and geese are dipshits. Swans have the standard aquatic-bird temperament, is the nice way to put it, but they were able to hire a better publicist. There’s also that Australian article about the aggressive gay swan couple. Because of it, I almost gave Xiyuan’s office a stack of plastic cups so that he can yell at people if they get too close to the cups.

(Bernard’s animal guide is a honey badger, duh.)


Xiyuan’s Backside
1966 in-universe/2016 irl

My Sims are my children, so their designs aren’t optimized for bangability. That also means I don’t check back there to see what the RNG is up to. Then, four years down the line, I turn Yuan sideways in CAS and mutter “oh, so that’s why Bernard left his wife.” And that’s life. Sometimes your kids have a big ass.

(Unfortunately for me, there are still more of these to design—Part II is in progress!)