Five artists create first-time virtual reality pieces with Google's Tilt Brush


Cao Fei x Google Tilt Brush (Photo: Courtesy of Art Basel)

The art world has officially entered virtual reality, and you can see it for yourself at this year’s Art Basel Hong Kong.

A collaboration between Art Basel and Google Arts & Culture, “Virtual Frontiers: Artists experimenting with Tilt Brush” is a special presentation of first-time VR artworks by five international artists using Google’s 3D drawing and painting application.

See also: Hong Kong Art Week 2017

Tilt Brush was launched in April 2016, catapulting us firmly into the future with dynamic brushes (ink, smoke, snow and fire), an interactive interface, and the ability to not only walk around your creation, but to share it in room-scale experiences or bite-sized GIFs.

See how Google's Tilt Brush works:


Video: Courtesy of Google

Art Basel goes virtual

For Art Basel Hong Kong, five renowned artists were selected to take up multiple day residencies in Beijing and Paris,  based on their existing portfolios that made them "good candidates to experiment with Tilt Brush". 

They include movement-based performance artist boychild, one of China’s most innovative young artists Cao Fei, Berlin-based Robin Rhode, multiple award-winning Chinese artist Sun Xun and traditional Chinese painter and calligrapher Yang Yongliang.

This is what they’ve created for Art Basel Hong Kong:

‘Eternal Landscape’ (2017) by Yang Yongliang, a traditional Chinese ‘Shan Shui’ landscape painting turned immersive experience that preserves classical aesthetics in a modern way.

See also: 10 Exhibitions To Add To Your Art Week Agenda

‘Gusheshe’ (2017) by Robin Rhode,  an expression of South Africa's cultural landscape in the politically charged days of the ‘90s through a BMW E30.

Sun Xun.jpeg

The Time Vivarium - 14, 2014 by Sun Xun (Photo: Courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery)

 ‘The previous life of the Yimatu mountain’ (2017) by Sun Xun, an imagination of what life was like around the highest mountain in Sun's hometown of Fuxin in Liaoning Province, China.

‘Derivation blurs the virtual and physical worlds’ (2017) by Cao Fei, a mixed reality film about a utopian future, less societal restrictions and new possibilities.

 ‘Untitled: Series of Hand Dances’ (2017) by boychild, a collection of improvisational hand dances done over three days in Paris.

This is not the first time artists have dabbled with VR, and it certainly won’t be the last.

"Virtual Frontiers: Artists experimenting with Tilt Brush" is open to the public with general admission tickets from March 23 to 25 (between 1-2PM) at Art Basel Hong Kong's Collectors Lounge. Register here; spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Don't miss the Conversations panel at Art Basel Hong Kong featuring Cao Fei, Yang Yongliang and the program manager of Google Arts & Culture, Freya Murray, happening on Wednesday, March 22 at 3:30pm.

Visit our Hong Kong Art Week site to get the latest news and updates.