Art Basel Hong Kong will featured two Virtual Reality artworks by acclaimed contemporary artists Marina Abramović and Anish Kapoor later this month. On display to showgoers in the HTC Vive Lounge at the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre between 29-31 March, both works will also be available to users worldwide on Viveport as part of the Vive Arts programme.
Rising by Marina Abramović and Into Yourself, Fall by Anish Kapoor have been produced in collaboration with Acute Art and in partnership with HTC Vive.
Marina Abramović, Rising
Rising addresses the effects of climate change by transporting viewers to witness rising sea levels. Users meet a virtual Abramović in a glass tank that fills with water as they are surrounded by melting polar ice caps.
Abramović said, “I have been wondering how to transfer energy from body to body through the use of modern technology. This VR artwork raises questions about technology’s impact on human empathy through the lens of a pressing issue facing our world: climate change.
“Rising will offer people the chance to empathise and respond to the needs of others affected by this crisis. I am particularly interested in how audiences’ consciousness and energy will be affected by a virtual experience of helping others.”
Anish Kapoor, Into Yourself, Fall
Into Yourself, Fall, takes users on a journey through the human body, experiencing the sensation of falling into yourself, Kapoor invites users to experience a surreal sensation of exploring the unknown, with viewers losing themselves in another realm.
Working with Acute Art to explore materiality in a virtual realm, Kapoor draws on his highly influential sculptural practice to evoke both tactility and transcendence.
Kapoor said, "Into Yourself, Fall takes us on a journey through the human body, experiencing the sensation of falling into yourself via this immersive medium. The work seeks to simulate vertigo as a descent inside the human body, depicting a labyrinth of the inner workings of the self."
But Is It Art?
Victoria Chang, Director at Vive Arts said, “The discourse surrounding Virtual Reality as a fine art medium started more than 20 years ago, but it is only recently that groundbreaking VR artworks have become accessible to a global audience. We are thrilled to be at the forefront of this new development, encouraging more artists and cultural institutions to advance their visions using the latest technology to reach new audiences.”
Jacob De Geer, CEO at Acute Art said, “Acute Art collaborates with leading artists producing Virtual Reality art that push the limits of artistic practice and creates immersive experiences. Abramović and Kapoor are masters of their craft and two of the most visionary artists working today and it is extremely exciting to see them experimenting with new technology.
“Showing these innovative artworks through VR will allow viewers to experience a new side to the artists and their practice. Works produced by Acute Art are available through our VR Museum making these unique experiences accessible anywhere in the world.”
Art Basel runs at the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre, 29-31 March.