Happily Contained VR

Virtual Reality at Art Night

Art Night is the largest, free contemporary arts festival in London. This year, Happily Contained, a VR art work, by Miao Ying is one of 12 special projects curated by the Hayward Gallery.

Miao Ying is known as the ‘Artist of the Internet’, and is well known for her projects around mainstream technology and contemporary consciousness. Her work often addresses the politics of the ‘Chinternet’ (the Chinese internet) and the Great Firewall, as well as how technology impacts our daily lives, which she conveys through the art form of Internet aesthetics.

The VR Art Experience

Happily Contained is an interactive transmedia installation that questions our perceived reality, who creates it and why.

“people are looking at their apps all the time, but they are not really looking at them. I don’t know if people fully realise how technology is changing or controlling our lives”.

Visitors arrived to the Embassy Gardens Marketing Suite, which was transformed as part of the installation. The Marketing Suite was designed to feel errie and disquieting at times, mirroing how tech companies push branded lifestyles with targeted advertisment, tracking and monetising their users’ data.

Each scene in Happily Contained depicts either a sinister world or Internet monsters that represent diverse concerns in the digital world, such as privacy issues and tapping of data.

Mbryonic Bringing Ideas to Life through VR

Since this was the first time the artist had worked in virtual reality as an media. The production team at SomewhereElse approached Mbryonic to translate the Ying’s ideas to reality, given our proven track record in creating award winning VR installations.

To recreate Ying’s ‘internet’ style, we adapted, combined and manipulated found 3D assets; we replicated her specific digital montage style, consequently creating eight compelling VR art scenes. We advised on direction, staging, audio – all vital factors to make a great VR experience. The end result was an stunning interactive experience created for the HTC Vive Pro.

The combination of her ideas and VR allows audiences to understand her representation of digital society and particularly, the reason she challenges contemporary modes of politics. It moreover allows one to feel present in the art, as they fully immerse themselves into the narratives world.

Happily Contained was shown for one special night as part of Art Night London 2018. A truly unique experience that immersed audiences into the imagination of Miao Ying in a way that was previously not possible.

How VR is Changing Art

Have you ever wondered how VR is revolutionising the art world? If so, why not read our article ‘Happily Contained’: A VR Art Piece at Art Night 2018.


Artist: Miao Ying
VR Development: Mbryonic
Production: Somewhere Else
3D & Animation: MMCD Studio
Partners: Art Night London, dsl collection
Sponsors: Hayward Gallery, Ballymore, Phillips

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