16
Oct

WVRF Hosts VR Villa West Bund in Shanghai

A stellar Virtual Reality exhibition at a beautiful museum made of glass – VR Villa West Bund was organized by World VR Forum in partnership with our sponsors: Swissnex China and Pro Helvetia Shanghai, gathering the curious public of Shanghai and some guests from the UK, France, Switzerland and Taiwan in Shanghai, China, 30 September –  15 October, 2017.

For two weeks, Shanghai celebrated the medium of the future through four permanent VR installations, a VR Cinema, a Game Zone and special events demonstrating Virtual Reality as a true art form and as a new source of entertainment.

The event was hosted by four members of the WVRF team: our Cofounders – Salar Shahna and Delphine Seitiee, Ellen Kuo – Market and Business Development and Ka Ki Li – Executive Deputy Secretary.  A team of young, enthusiastic volunteers – students from various universities of Shanghai provided assistance with the VR experiences to the visitors.

Our programme included: VR Cinema and the HanaHana experience which many were impressed with as it involved building a VR art piece out of hands on the first floor; a Game Zone on the second floor; and on third floor the visitors were welcome to the Arden’s Wake experience for all of the two weeks of the event, The Dream Collector experience during the first week, and the Free Whale experience during the second week.

Most of the VR projects were Chinese premiers. Arden’s Wake was shown in Asia for the first time, at VR Villa West Bund. Before Asia, Arden’s Wake also premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in NYC, WVRF Annual Summit in Crans-Montana, Cannes Film Festival, and Binnale Cinema Venice International Film Festival this year.

Installations included: HanaHana (Melodie Mousset and Noem Baron, CH), Arden’s Wake (Eugene Chung, USA), Free Whale (Sandman Studios, CN), The Dream Collector (Pinta Studios, CN), Chuang (Qing Shao, CN), Chocolate (Tyler Hurd, USA).

Check out all the projects on the event’s website.

Special events gave insight into the tricks of the Virtual Reality trade: Education Day sponsored by Lenovo, who amused the public with their Mixed Reality headset on the 8th; VR Professional Night on the 12th; and Max Rheiner’s workshop on the 14th organized in partnership with Swissnex and Tongji University’s College of Design and Innovation. Rheiner shared his insight into the Birdly machine with a local crowd of students, professors as well as with some exchange students from Germany. Kuo organized the event with the team from Xinyang. It was an interesting first collaboration, bringing Xinyang into mainstream.

VR Professional Night

The VR Professional Night gathered some of the key people from different organizations and industries in China to chat about Virtual Reality and followed the WVRF’s panel at Slush. The WVRF panel organized by Kuo consisted of Shahna, James Fong from Jaunt China who represent content and C.C. Young from CRCM who represent venture capital investment. Following the panel start, the VR Professional Night sponsored by Swissnex and Pro Helvetia and organized in partnership with the TCDIC took off.

Shahna, explained how WVRF has been thoroughly expanding its activity in China.

According to Shahna, “Being the first to bring foreign content to China in 2016 to the Shanghai International Film Festival, we are moving forward with this exhibition and other activities. Then, we were honoured to have the IVRA represented, IVRA being in this trivia items of China mentioned how happy they are to be connected with WVRF, as they have sent a delegation to Crans-Montana in 2017 and expect to send a bigger one next year.

Then Felix Moesner, the Swissnex China CEO emphasized the importance of developing the innovation technology between Switzerland and China followed by Andy Niu, who is the Vice President of CASME and Chairman of Zhongguancun Creative Culture & Game Industry Development Alliance with 1,600 members in his company. Niu also was in Crans-Montana and expressed his content in the collaboration with us.

For the grand finale of the evening, we had a surprise intervention by James Fong from Jaunt China, who gave a short talk, and finally concluded by Joanne Yin, Director of International TCDIC, who also has worked with us and talked about how this collaboration can extend in China. All were very happy with the experiences and the Professional Night.

Max Reiner’s Workshop

Max Rheiner, Head of the Master Design, Interaction Design Programme at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHDK) gave a talk at the West Bund on the evening of 14 October. It gathered some thirty VR enthusiasts from the Shanghai region. Rheiner talked about how he combined his research and love for VR, giving his detailed insight into his VR project Birdly.

Following its success around the world from Summer 2014, a startup called SOMNIACS was created a year later – to handle the demands for Birdly related products, services and information, as well as deploying next generation VR, AR and interactive experiences.

The intention of Birdly is to fulfil people’s ancient dream of flying. With VR and robotics technology, SOMNIACS creates an extremely vivid full-body experience that makes you instantly forget the mechanics and computer codes behind this spectacular apparatus. The immersive and interactive nature of Birdly serves one goal: to enjoy the ultimate freedom of a bird and intuitively to explore the skies.

Conclusion

Everyone was captivated by the experiences and was happy to attend this unique VR extravaganza, the kids especially liked Chocolate with the dancing cats, though little kids and elderly got a bit dizzy as they were trying this new medium for the first time.

We are very grateful to Swissnex China and Pro Helvetia Shanghai for helping us organize this event. It was a success and we look forward to future collaboration.