Digital Exhibition Is Virtually Underwater

July 10, 2018  Editor: Xie Wen
Digital Exhibition Is Virtually Underwater
Aquarium by Naked immerses people with the wonders of the underwater world through a combination of technology, lights, video and water. [China Daily]

 

Few people ever reach the bottom of the ocean, let alone explore and experience it. However, an immersive exhibition, presented by Japanese design and art agency Naked Inc is offering Beijingers the opportunity to enjoy the wonders of the underwater world through a combination of technology, lights, video and water.

Visitors to the show Aquarium by Naked at Beijing's Guardian Art Center walk through a tunnel under the sea, giving them the feeling of being surrounded by water. They see aurora, as dolphins swim under their feet and can feel jellyfish ascending by touching them on a jellyfish wall. Then, suddenly, find themselves spiraling down to more than 6,000 meters under the sea, where they step onto the ocean floor, rich in deep-sea marine creatures.

Finally, they're pushed by the waves back to the shore, where the real world welcomes them with an interactive digital firework display.

The experience was created by blending projection mapping, computer graphics, digital art, lights and videos-typical of works by the Tokyo-based creative art group.

"There's no real, tangible thing in the show except the water, it's all made by technology," says Ryotaro Muramatsu, who founded Naked Inc two decades ago with a view to provide computer graphics for the film industry.

Although he has created an undersea world, Muramatsu prefers to stay on the surface, swimming and surfing, or as he puts it, "riding the waves".

The actor, film director and artist says he wants to create an experience that will allow people to feel life in virtual world and possibly prompt them to think about the question: What is real?

He expressed his worries that in the future, people may get lost in the virtual world when the technology is highly developed.

Muramatsu is good at creating these virtual worlds, or to put it another way, weaving dreams for people. His previous shows, Flowers by Naked, Sweets by Naked and City Night Fantasia all incorporated both real things and virtual ones to create a magic world for the audience. In total, the shows have attracted more than 1.2 million visitors in Japan.

"The line between the virtual and reality is blurring," says the 47-year-old, who confesses that he is, in fact, afraid of the advanced technology we are now capable of.

He is a juxtaposition, an artist who seems to contradict himself. On one hand, all of his work relies heavily on technology, yet on the other, he refuses to employ too much technology in his daily life. He loves to touch real things and sense the moment.

"People should go back to the real world and live in the moment, no matter how wonderful the virtual world is," says Muramatsu.

That being said, the mixture of art and technology is an inevitable trend, with which Muramatsu strongly agrees. It is an ethos that he teaches in his role as a visiting professor at Osaka University of Art.

"Technology is just a tool to create art," he says of the relationship between his art and science.

Besides producing these highly immersive shows, his team of 130 staff also employ their skills for other interesting projects. They have used digital art to help revitalize the village of Achi in Japan's Nagano, where, in a bid to attract tourists, they have built an amusement park which offers a stargazing experience.

Digital art is also a good way for Naked to promote traditional Japanese art, such as kabuki, a Japanese drama featuring dancing and singing that has recently been in decline, as younger audiences have little interest in it.

Muramatsu, however, says that he is not willing to be limited to a certain area. He loves to be somewhere in between various fields, including art, culture, film and science.

"It's like being a director, coordinating everything and presenting it all in a good piece of work," he adds. His years of experience of being a film director has helped him to know how to tell good story in his immersive shows.

Muramatsu's Naked is not the only one to follow the trend of producing immersive and interactive art shows by using the latest technology.

 

Digital Exhibition Is Virtually Underwater
Aquarium by Naked immerses people with the wonders of the underwater world through a combination of technology, lights, video and water. [China Daily]
Digital Exhibition Is Virtually Underwater
Aquarium by Naked immerses people with the wonders of the underwater world through a combination of technology, lights, video and water. [China Daily]

 

(Source: China Daily)

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