FORBES: Inside The Art Basel Hong Kong 2017 And Google Arts & Culture Virtual Reality Project

When Art Basel meets Google you can be sure to experience an artsy journey into the future. At this year’s Art Basel Hong Kong, which runs from March 23rd until March 25th, 2017 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Art Basel collaborated with Google Arts & Culture. Together, they created a futuristic project called ‘Virtual Frontiers’.

Art Basel selected a handful of artists to work on this pioneering project. The presentation of experimental work by renowned international artists boychild, Cao Fei, Robin Rhode, Sun Xun and Yang Yongliang, are created entirely with Tilt Brush by Google, a 3D drawing and painting application.

boychild, Untitled Series of Hand Dances, 2017 for Art Basel Hong Kong x Google Arts & Culture

boychild, Untitled Series of Hand Dances, 2017 for Art Basel Hong Kong x Google Arts & Culture 2017

Google Arts & Culture invited these five artists to attend multiday residencies in Beijing and Paris to work for the first time with Tilt Brush by Google. Tilt Brush is a new drawing and painting application that lets you paint in 3D space using virtual reality technology. Your room is your canvas, your palette is your imagination. Tilt Brush allows you to paint life-size three-dimensional brush strokes, stars, light, and even fire. And that’s exactly what these artists did.

During Art Basel Hong Kong 2017, visitors will be able to explore five new virtual reality works that were individually created by each artist.

With ‘Gusheshe’, which in South African township slang translates to ‘go faster’ or ‘very fast’, artist Robin Rhode references the BMW E30, a model that was produced and driven on the streets of the townships of South Africa in the early 1990’s during a politically tumultuous time for the country. 

Robin Rhode

Robin Rhode, Artist

‘The Previous Life of the Yimatu Mountain’ by Sun Xun is a portrait of Yimatu, the highest mountain in Fuxin in the Liaoning Province (the artist’s hometown). He imagines what life around the Yimatu mountain would have been like in the past.

Sun Xun, The previous life of the Yimatu mountain, 2017

Sun Xun, The previous life of the Yimatu mountain, 2017 for Art Basel Hong Kong x Google Art & Culture Project 2017

Cao Fei’s mixed reality film, titled ‘Derivation Blurs the Virtual and Physical Worlds’, declares a utopian future where walls and societal restrictions are broken, fostering new conversations and the emergence of new possibilities.

Yang Yongliang’s ‘Eternal Landscape’ responds to ‘Shan Shui’, a traditional style of Chinese ink painting that depicts scenery or natural landscapes and is often considered to be one of ancient China’s most important contributions to the history of art.

boychild’s ‘Untitled: Series of Hand Dances’ is an imagination of space through several improvisational hand dances that were performed over the course of three days in Paris.

boychild, Untitled Series of Hand Dances, 2017

boychild, Untitled Series of Hand Dances, 2017 for Art Basel Hong Kong x Google Arts & Culture 2017

Marc Spiegler, Art Basel’s Global Director said: “This collaboration extends Art Basel’s interest in the digital realm and how artists approach this topic on different levels. Virtual Frontiers allows internationally renowned artists to experiment with new technology and to expand their practice into another dimension.”

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