XR / Media Art

My portfolio showcases various projects created through my career and advanced studio courses. Mostly featured are VR-based media art and prototypes created on Unity.

Origin of Somu

Origin of Somu is a chapter of an ongoing transmedia series that was created by CultureHub Resident Artist Andrea Kim. The Somu avatar’s origin story is an allegory for entering the metaverse, raising questions about “masking” identities and performing new ones in this creator-forward take on agency in post-human times.

In a custom-built virtual space powered by Arium, Andrea read Origin of Somu in webXR and discussed how digital tools interface with creativity, techno-culture, and the human-machine relationship. This reading was also an auto-theoretical exploration of virtual identity, blending performance and speculative fiction in the way gender, culture, and technology are imagined and discussed.

For more information: https://www.culturehub.org/origin-of-somu

A Place of Care (AFVS. 157L Immersive Experience as Art)

A Place of Care is an immersive performance and healing space that uses social VR and live video streaming. For the final project for AFVS.157L, I performed a walk through in front of an audience via video conferencing. Viewers were instructed to turn off their videos and participate in an audio meditation that facilitates a simple self-massage experience. A Place of Care is originally designed as a social VR experience for up to 16 people using PC-based VR.

The aim of this piece is to center the massage room as a place of care rather than one of violence, stigma, and fetishization. Through the guided meditation, I hoped to bring in the physical body into the virtual experience and emphasize its physicality in a humble way. By placing participants at a site of intimacy, I wanted to highlight the vulnerability of our bodies when care workers attend to it. This care is juxtaposed to the violence toward Asian and migrant women we see in America today.

Andrea Shinyoung Kim, AFVS Studio Documentation

Dancescapes VR (Final Project for CMS.627: Virtuality & Presence at MIT) by Salma Islam, Chibuzor Eduzor, Faduma Khalif, and Andrea Kim

Within the world of dancing games, we found that there is a large issue of lack of representation of diverse cultures within them. With the increasing popularity of viral dances, we see that even when diverse dances become popularized they are often not rooted in their deeper cultural meaning. Dancescapes is a VR experience that immerses users into a dreamlike scene in which they are able to learn how to dance. They are taught how to dance by a green spiritual guide. As they progress through the experience, they are joined by avatars depicting folk masquerade and mask dance practices, inspired by Nigerian Igbo and Korean heritage. During a semester of virtual learning, where it’s difficult to feel social presence with classmates, we aimed to create a VR experience that allowed for cross cultural exchange and representation of our respective cultures.

Dancscapes VR Documentation, 2020 (CMS.627: Virtuality & Presence)

Dancescapes VR is an interactive computational system for users to learn transcultural dance moves in a pop style. Dancescapes VR draws from the phantasmal media framework to design a subjective computing system, drawing from the key concept of designing an “integrated cultural systems.” An integrative cultural system refers to “cultural systems that are transmitted through, and enacted within, media” (Harrell 2013: 208).  A “cultural system” is “a production-oriented cultural phantasm that is distributed over many components including media” (Harrell 2013: 208) Dancescapes VR is composed of three cultural systems that are each composed of various  multimedia forms. Each cultural system is medially represented by (1) A-3D modeled avatar and (2) dance choreography paired with music.

  1. Harrell, Fox, and Chong Lim. “Reimagining the Avatar Dream: Modeling Social Identity in Digital Media.” Communications of the ACM, vol. 60, no. 7, 2017.
  2. Harrell, D. Fox. Phantasmal Media an Approach to Imagination, Computation, and Expression. The MIT Press, 2013.