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HTC Vive Brings NASA-Inspired VR Artwork To Art Basel Hong Kong

Experience outer space without being an astronaut in ‘To the Moon.’ 

50 years ago, Neil Armstrong took one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind, sparking an entire generations interest in space travel in the process. Since that historical first moon landing, we’ve seen our fascination with everything space-related manifest in everything from pop culture, to the art world. 

American artist Laurie Anderson drew upon her experience as the first artist in residence at NASA to contemplate abstract concepts related to our human civilization and history. Together with new media Taiwanese artist Hsin-Chien Huang, they created the VR artwork “To the Moon,” which allows the audience to experience what the marriage between art and science is like and the endless possibilities this brings from a different vantage point. Bursting with an incredible set of visuals, the work is designed to simulate the journey of an astronaut under low-gravity conditions.

Image Credit: Laurie Anderson / Hsin-Chien Huang

After its first appearance at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in 2018, t he 15-minute artwork now makes its way to the art fair Art Basel Hong Kong for its Asia debut March 29th to the 31st.

HTC Vive is the virtual reality partner of the fair, and the general public can experience the immersive artwork to find out more about technology’s role in contemporary art practices today.

For the imagery of the moon, Huang referenced The Little Prince, a 1943 french novella; whereas the music is heavily-inspired by the song “Ramon” on Anderson’s Grammy nominated 1989 album, Strange Angels,

To the Moon, 2018 / Image Credit: Laurie Anderson / Hsin-Chien Huang

The artist, Hsin-Chien Huang, thinks that virtual reality has great potential for storytelling. “This VR work lets visitors experience different points of view, from politics and from literature, it allows for experiences from multiple angles. With VR, you actually can become an astronaut landing on the moon.”

Previously, the two artists were awarded “Best VR Experience” at the Venice Film Festival for their work on Chalkroom a.k.a. La Camera Insabbiata.

Image Credit: Laurie Anderson / Hsin-Chien Huang

“’To the Moon’ is a pioneering artwork and the perfect demonstration of creative expression in technology today,” comments Victoria Chang, Director of VIVE Arts.

About the Scout

Valencia Tong

Valencia is a Hong Kong-based writer who writes about art and technology.

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