‘Happily Contained’: A Virtual Reality Art Piece At Art Night 2018

Technology is inevitably changing art, revolutionising the way we engage and appreciate it. You might have read our article ‘Three Ways Augmented Reality is Transforming the Arts’, showing how AR opens up new artistic possibilities… But the virtual reality industry is also growing at a fast pace. Now, more than ever, virtual reality art is taking hold, letting individuals immerse themselves in new visual experiences.

A ‘must-try’ virtual reality art experience is Miao Ying’sHappily Contained’, co-commissioned by dsl collection and Art Night and collaborated on by Mbryonic, Somewhere Else and MMCD Studio. Through the medium of VR and Internet aesthetics, Ying depicts a sinister world of firewalls and Internet monsters. They aim to represent diverse concerns in digital society such as privacy issues, tapping of data and so on. She states:

“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. The work deals with the integration of technology and the human spirit”.

Mbryonic and MMCD brought Ying’s world to life by translating her flat frame ideas into an immersive 360°, 3D environment. Through adapting, combining and manipulating ‘found’ 3D assets from the internet, we replicated her specific digital montage style. We created 8 compelling scenes that are available to view with the HTC Vive.

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

Tom, Founder of Mbryonic believes that artists should embrace technology in their art, “whether it be new types of paint, work processes or digital tools, such as VR and AR. Mbryonic have a proud history of collaborating with talented visual artists. We strive to combine their ideas with technologies and we hope more artists start utilising this in the future for self expression”.

VR has not just become an art medium. It’s created more possibilities for artists, such as Ying, to express themselves in ways that were previously not possible. We are thrilled to have worked with Ying and the other talented individuals involved in this virtual reality art project. We also hope this event will inspire other artists to look at VR as something they can use, as well as expanding and developing the conversation around digital / virtual reality art more generally!

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