Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China

Art Artwork from United States. Published by anonymous on Thursday 12 June 2014.

Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China image

Shadow Play combines Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and physical reality to explore the dramatic changes which the Chinese landscape has undergone as its population has shifted rapidly from the agrarian lifestyle to that of urbanization. Shadow Play can be accessed via the Second Life application.

Over the past few decades, China has been undergoing urbanization at an astounding pace.

In 2013, the newly inaugurated national leadership raised the process to a new gear when it unveiled its plan of converting 70 percent of the population to a city-oriented lifestyle by 2025. Such a significant change would undoubtedly transform the character of a country that has been largely agrarian throughout its millennia of history.

One may wonder how, and to what extent, the landscape, culture, and daily being of the nation’s people may be altered. As artists, we are compelled to explore and reflect upon the various phases of this historic undertaking.

Through 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.

With a retrospective into the past through time-honored imagery, and a reflection of the present through immersion in the realities of the modern China, we seek to present the unfolding of a monumental development to the conscience of a worldwide audience.

Lily & Honglei is an artist collective consisting of Xiying Yang, Honglei Li and He Li