Symbols of our Material Existence
This article introduces NEWVIEW AWARDS 2022 finalist work OFF – SEASON by mixed media artist kuroneko.
This work is a VR space inspired by outer space that is composed of over 90% handmade objects. The artist creates physical objects composed of salt and silicone on a mirror base and brings them into the VR space. Each material is symbolic of a specific motif; silicone = water, salt = life, and mirror = self-awareness; these materials represent the existence of the real world.
By constructing this unique scene, OFF – SEASON allows us to experience the fusion of the material and digital, where the boundaries between real and virtual worlds are becoming increasingly blurred in modern society.
Material and Virtual Worlds Melting Together in Space
Launching the scene, you can perceive an object floating on the water. This is a real-life sculpture made of silicone, salt, and a mirror that has been brought into the VR space. Salt contains sodium, an essential nutrient for humans. The human body cannot produce sodium on its own, so it must be ingested.
Likewise, water is another essential element for life; it functions as a medium for transporting nutrients necessary for chemical reactions and metabolism throughout the body and can also be used to adjust body temperature. Without access to water, dehydration and many other associated health problems would occur and life would be difficult to sustain.
Salt and water are important components of our existence.
Finally, the mirror plays an important element in this scene. It is considered a symbol of self-knowledge; by examining your own reflection in the mirror and perceiving your visual appearance, you can confirm your physical existence and form your identity.
Many billions of years ago, the galactic system was formed by the fusion of matter in the primordial universe. Matter continued moving, influenced by gravitational forces, initiating nuclear fusion reactions from which the galaxies were born. Celestial bodies interact with each other due to their inherent gravitational potential.
In OFF – SEASON, planet-like objects incessantly rotate within this space. These objects brought into the VR space may also gradually fuse together inside this universe and become unified, just like how clouds of gas collapsed to form galaxies.
Like an orchestra, music envelops the VR universe and harmonizes with the cosmic space scattered above our heads. Kuroneko’s real-world objects create a truly poetic moment when they merge inside the virtual space; we feel our own physical presence in this strange universe while observing the wondrous world unfold before us.
A Post-pandemic Prayer
The VR space was created to simulate outer space. It is a phenomenon where the physical world and the virtual world merge, and with the post-pandemic slowly unraveling, I made this work with the hope that the universe where people should be will become one where the real and the virtual merge.
—Via the official NEWVIEW website
As a mixed media artist who has exhibited their work at international art fairs, kuroneko creates their work based on the theme of a “prayer.” In OFF – SEASON, kuroneko prays for a world in which the real and virtual fuse together.
The worldwide pandemic has caused similar hardships for everyone; we have learned the importance of showing empathy and solidarity toward one another. In this context, online communication and businesses have flourished, and this trend of digitization is expected to continue in the post-pandemic world.
The relationship between the real and the virtual is an important theme in this digitalized community. While online communication blurs these boundaries, the final real–virtual landscape has yet to be formed and how the real and virtual worlds blend together will depend on social, cultural, and technological advancements.
Thus, it is essential to consider the kind of future in which we would like to live. OFF – SEASON gives us the opportunity to explore the possibilities of hybrid futures.
How to Experience a VR Scene
If you are accessing this page from a smartphone, tap the “Try Now” button.
If you are using STYLY for the first time, please also refer to the instructions below.
After tapping “Try Now,” you will be redirected to a page like below.
If you have already downloaded the STYLY Mobile app, select “Activate in STYLY app.”
If you have an HMD device, select “Experience in VR” from your PC web browser.
Download the STYLY Mobile app
Download the Steam version of STYLY app:
Download the Oculus Quest version of STYLY app:
For those who want to know more about how to experience the scene:
For more information on how to experience VR scenes, please refer to the following article.
Edited by SASAnishiki
Translated by cpnnn