Real Life Events Depicted in Virtual Art, Shadow Play in Second Life

Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China (general)

When you go visit Shadow Play you’ll notice that the artist’s name is Lily Jun.  You’re actually looking at/experiencing the work of a small collective called Lily & Honglei, located in New York with three principal members;  Xiying Yang, Honglei Li, and He Li.

These artists create works “(u)tilizing traditional painting, video, and new media such as virtual reality and augmented reality“, and have been exhibited around the world in venues such as the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Museum of Ara Pacis in Rome, and the Musée Guimet in Paris.

Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China (general)

Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China is the virtual component of their latest project, a 2014 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., for its website. Told in four chapters, this installation was inspired by the decision of the Chinese Government to move 70% of the population, approximately 250 million people, to newly constructed towns and cities by 2025.

The four components are designed to “shed light on real-life incidents such as clashes during land evictions resulting from urban expansion, children abductions, suicides of migrant workers, and predicaments involving the cultural and environmental degradation”.

Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China (general)

What I found fascinating and compelling, apart from the subject matter, are the techniques used in this, the virtual component, and the companion augmented reality installation. Inworld, they use layers of semi-transparent prims to show the past, present, and future.

The first chapter is a 3d version of a traditional ivory carving panel. The next three ask you to move and change your camera angle, which reveals different layers/time periods and details.

Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China (general)

I recommend that you play with your Windlight settings (region default couldn’t be altered by the artists), this will help you become more involved in the story as it unfolds.

Move your camera around as you explore and appreciate the work these talented artists have created. Make sure you look up as well – there’s a wonderful floating island depicting their vision of the final outcome in 2025.

Shadow Play is well worth visiting.

Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China (general)
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  1. I’d like to recommend Rose Borchovski’s “The Inevitability of Fate” immersive work in Second Life at Two Fish, Cariacou [195, 78,170].

    “The Inevitability of Fate” places the person walking through it with a necessarily unique walk through the experience of being a civilian victim of organized, systematic repression – and of personal loss. Very few people who haven’t lost children can know what Ruth’s talking about, and she takes you very close to it all.

    If you’d like to see what how powerful immersive art on Second Life can be, visit “The Inevitability of Fate.”

  1. Real Life Events Depicted in Virtual Art, Shadow Play in Second Life | Second Life Freebies Addiction & More
  2. Prim Perfect | Prim Perfect Jigsaw: A Taste of the changing faces of China with Shadow Play

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