The exhibit Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China, located on a sim by the University of Massachusetts, is commissioned by New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. and sponsored by funding from the Jerome Foundation. The exhibit has been open to the Second Life© public for a while and one of the bloggers who did a remarkable job writing about this work is Inara Pey. After I read her blog post I took a mental note and decided to return at a later date, but did not find the time. A few days ago an artist friend then gave me two landmarks to the exhibit and I finally headed over to take a look. There are several reasons why this installation is important, one being the somewhat unusual topic itself, namely the recent urbanization of China. Another significant reason why this work is noteworthy is the type of artistic expression; the three artists Xiying Yang, Honglei Li and He Li (based in New York and Beijing) note that [t]hrough fieldwork in China, we collect the ingredients necessary for a multimedia production that combines traditional artistic expressions with emerging technologies. Weaving three interfaces, namely virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and physical reality, the new media art project visualizes the metamorphosis that results from the urbanization process.
Last, but certainly not least, I find the rather delicate looking, ornate and colorful panels that describe the four parts, or chapters, of this installation stunningly beautiful. Head over for yourselves and take a look at this quite intriguing exhibit before it is gone.
Photographs by Kate Bergdorf