Immersive digital experience explores modern life's spiritual side
Updated 21:24, 19-Mar-2019
By Li Qiong
03:06

In the religion of Tibetan Buddhism, Tan Cheng, or mandala, is a spiritual and ritual symbol, representing the universe. Now the religious symbol and concept are being presented in an exhibition in Beijing called "Fantasy City." It's presented with other, modern elements that we live with, to get people to rethink the places in which we live – both physically and psychologically.

Mandala patterns fill the exhibition hall with forms and materials. The five traditional elements the mandala portrays – earth, air, fire, water, and space – are all presented through different digital art pieces.

"Reincarnation" by Tian Yuan. /SAMAS Photo

"Reincarnation" by Tian Yuan. /SAMAS Photo

The exhibition for "Reincarnation" simulates the function of air. More than 250,000 particles on the screen can move with a person's motions.

"This is so cool," said one visitor. "It's like some somatic games, but more sensitive. It feels great to control thousands of spots on the screen. Very interesting."

Not everyone shares the religious faith, but the exhibition aims at arousing people's inner thoughts, and rethink their spiritual status.

Passing through a 30-meter-long, rainbow-like aisle, visitors are exposed to an entirely different art hall, this one more modern and fresh. All this, curator Zhao Dongbo said, is to emphasize the importance of the environment we live in.

"In the first hall, the religious symbols of the mandala can inspire awareness of their spiritual pursuit. While in the other, we display modern city elements to remind visitors of their living status, that they might never recognize. Both halls aim to stimulate people to think about the problems existing in their lives and what they want to pursue," Zhao added.

"Smart City" by Wu Ziyang. /SAMAS Photo

"Smart City" by Wu Ziyang. /SAMAS Photo

One of the biggest problems, some artists think, is that people today rely so much on digital devices that they are becoming more and more indifferent.

On this metro, everyone is deeply immersed in their own digital world, even without knowing the explosive danger that is drawing near.

The "Fantasy City" exhibition runs through March 24, at Wangfu Central in Beijing.