Augmented reality and virtual reality were once seen as visions of a distant future. Just saying the words brings to mind retro-futuristic movies and TV shows, such as star trek Where Back to the future. As social media has shown over the years, however, this idealized future is well into the present, and artists from all walks of life have used AR and VR technologies to further develop their creative expression.
Among a number of exhibitions exploring the issue, Leeum Museum of Art and Hoam Museum of Art in Seoul presented an emphatic exhibition dubbed kaleidoscope eyeswhere artists like Olafur Eliasson, KAWS and Julie Curtiss exemplified the creative potential of this burgeoning field.
Organized by acute artby director Daniel Birnbaum, the event marked the largest institutional exhibition focused exclusively on AR and VR artwork. But you don’t have to be into art or science to enjoy the show. The famous South Korean musician SHAUN was invited to visit the exhibition and, as a comic enthusiast, he understands the merits of augmented reality and virtual reality as a complement to all creative disciplines.
The multi-instrumentalist first started his career playing synthesizer for indie-rock band The Knoxx, before moving into DJing and producing. In 2018, SHAUN released his first single “Dream” along with his own EP TAKE the next year. Just released his latest EP, Omnibus, pt. 2: Upside downHypeArt sat down with the musician to find out where he finds inspiration and how AR and VR can seep into his future projects.
Read the full interview with SHAUN below.
Can you recall your earliest memories of music and what prompted you to make a career out of it?
I lived in Guui-dong for about a year when I was a preschooler. I remember running around with my neighborhood friends until my slippers came off, and one of my friends said he had to go to a piano academy, so I followed him because I was curious . Since my friend was already enrolled, I started the piano academy too, because I wanted to try it. But I ended up giving up right after finishing Bayer because I didn’t want to learn sheet music. Even without sheet music, I can just listen to a piece of music and play it the same way. I think it was frustrating having to read music and figure out what the notes meant. Eventually I stopped learning classical piano and learned musical instruments like electronic piano at home, playing the latest songs based on code and melody.
Every Sunday my dad would blast music on a record, and I would wake up to the sound and play what I heard. Everyone was happy to see me doing this, and I was also happy to see my family enjoying it. I think I always thought and knew that I would get into music without having time to choose a career. My parents once said that they wanted me to choose a stable and promising job, but they didn’t stop me eagerly, so there wasn’t much tension. Thanks to this, I was able to appreciate and play music – something I always wanted.
Inspiration comes in all forms and at the most random times of the day. But what do you think constantly inspires you on a daily basis?
It’s true. It comes in various forms and at an indeterminate time of day. Unfortunately, inspiration doesn’t come free. So I’m still looking for him. I try to find new tracks and new music with interesting direction and techniques. If I wait for inspiration to come to me, I won’t be able to do anything when something big comes along. I am constantly on the lookout for that moment and strive to treat the gemstone to its best state when it strikes.
How about art? Is there a particular artist or period of art history that speaks to you?
Since I’m mostly interested in cartoons and animations, I like Yukito Kishiro’s one Battle Angel Alita – even the director of the film version of Robert Rodriguez – one of my favorite directors. by Katsuhiro Otomo AKIRAby Mamoru Oshii ghost in the shelland Hiroyuki Imaishi Cyberpunk: Edge Runners are also some of my favorites.
Do you consider yourself a collector, whether it is works of art, records, books, etc.? ?
I don’t collect things consistently enough to call myself a collector, but I tend to buy things that catch my eye. My interests are cartoons and animations, so I usually buy action figures, comics and merchandise. The objects change according to the season and the works that interest me change, so I have another apostle to inhabit. It really is a vicious circle.
For kaleidoscope eyes at the Leeum Museum of Art, there was a truly impressive body of work by some of the best contemporary artists working today. Can you tell us about your experience at the fair and which works particularly marked you?
I was able to come across many interesting works at kaleidoscope eyes exposure. Personally, I liked that of Olafur Eliasson Benevolent aurora borealis most. I thought this work was very similar to the Leeum Museum of Art, which was built so as not to harm the landscape of nature. It seems that Benevolent aurora borealis, which harmonizes with the landscape, allowed us to evolve between the real and the unreal. Meanwhile, Language by Ho Tzu Nyen allowed us to reflect on a complex subject through colorful 3D and AR production, and in the case of Moon by Julie Curtiss, the message was very impressive.
What do you think of augmented reality (AR) and the possibilities it can bring to the music industry?
I know that online streaming using Augmented Reality (AR) technology has been widely explored during the COVID-19 pandemic. I also participated in such an event once. The first thing that comes to mind is related to live performance. It might be a little different, but the ‘Gorillaz’ and ‘Madonna’ scene at the 2006 Grammy Awards was a shock to me as a kid. I remember thinking a lot about how they did such a scene with the Gorillaz characters appearing. Michael Jackson’s 2012 “Slave To The Rhythm” would also be a good example, and in 2018 there was even a stage completed with AR technology at the opening of the League of Legends World Championship.
From the point of view of being very new to this field, it was expected how the combination with the next generation of technologies would be achieved. It has actually been applied a lot in fields other than music, but it’s a shame that it’s not widely used in live performances. I think the fact that visitors have to see through the screen to enjoy the scene combined with augmented reality was the reason for the excitement. But I think we will get quite a good result if we combine the technologies that are about to be improved. For example, if AR glasses or contact lenses are more widely distributed, I expect AR to be used a lot more in live broadcasts.
Can we expect any art or augmented reality related projects from you in the near future?
Actually, I thought about it, and I’m thinking of joining the party.