I stared at the large canvas and soldiers of WWI stared back at me; a medley of nationalities frozen in an apocalyptic waltz of animalistic expressions and gnashing teeth, as white knuckles gripped weapons and limbs tangled amidst the destruction of humanity by humanity.
Then, I held my smartphone up to the canvas.
Suddenly, the still piece came to life in an explosion of red hot insanity, all smoke billows and whistling bombs. Bulging eyeballs evaporated within sockets and the final scream emitted from parted lips gave way to leering grins and sunken cheeks. The distinctive physical features, skin colors and uniforms that identified each man’s beloved nation turned into skeletal figurines only to reveal that alas, we are all the same: a pile of white bones beneath peeled flesh. It served as a somber reminder of a hellish nightmare that happened once upon a time, where thousands of soldiers were killed, and they should never be forgotten.
This piece, titled WWI by UK artist Chris McBride, is part of the Prosthetic Reality art book, which features the work of 45 international artists. A collaboration of images from the book are on display this month at My Casa Restaurant in Danang, giving insight into the budding world of Augmented Reality art (AR). It’s the first exhibition of its kind in Vietnam and one of the first in Asia.
What is AR? Think Harry Potter and the living paintings that adorn the walls of Hogwarts. This new art form combines print media, animation and smartphone technology to bring still images to life. With a quick download of the EyeJack application, art enthusiasts can embark on an animated escapade that allows one to first decipher the piece for themselves before being enlightened to what the artist has in store.
Thought-provoking, visually stirring and delightfully dreamy: feast your senses on the work of Prosthetic Reality and delve into the minds of its AR crusaders. Your imagination will be ignited, fed by sound effects and hidden secrets that can only be revealed with the EyeJack app. The Prosthetic Reality exhibition will be open at My Casa Danang until September 30th.