The Power of Immersive Media Arts

The contemporary art form of media arts empowers not only artists but also brands to craft creative experiences that impress and inspire their target audiences.

Hong Kong Design Institute28 Mar 2024

[The following content is provided by Hong Kong Design Institute]


Creative use of technology has made it possible to blend stunning visuals, mesmerising music, and traditions at a whole array of locations. Building façades can house head-turning 3D renditions of ocean waves, sports cars, wild animals, and anything that the commissioned artists dare to excite their viewers with. Pop music concerts and traditional Korean performances can also be graced by holographic mega stars or interactive virtual percussionists. These innovations are brought to life by d'strict, a trailblazing digital design company from Korea.



Storytelling that transcends boundaries


Immersive media art also connects different communities. The traditional Korean percussion music samul nori, for example, was revived in d'strict's presentation of Digilog Samulnori: Dead Tree Blooms (2010).


"Viewers of all ages were truly excited by the interplay between advanced multimedia technology and cultural heritage of the performance. When the association with something old is renewed with more contemporary elements, the younger audiences are drawn to connect with and appreciate their traditions," said Kim, Executive Director of d’strict’s LIVX Division, who helped cultural heritage thrive through a new way of storytelling.


"Waterfall-NYC" (2021) was displayed on Times Square's tallest outdoor LED screens, which measured 102.5 metres, bringing nature, peace and comfort to the city that never sleeps.



Bringing nature to busy cities


Speaking of cultural storytelling, the highly popular ARTE MUSEUM of the digital design company must not go unmentioned. The immersive media art exhibition is currently shown in Jeju, Yeosu and Gangneung in Korea. Hong Kong became the world's first destination to host the special edition known as "ARTE M" in October 2022. ARTE MUSEUM can also be seen in Chengdu and Las Vegas, and an installation is scheduled for Dubai later this year, with plans to expand to at least 20 major cities worldwide by 2026.


(Left) "WATERFALL" at ARTE MUSEUM JEJU expands infinitely through 14-angle mirrors and guides visitors into a majestic space. (Right)"FOREST" at ARTE MUSEUM GANGNEUNG presents mystic spirits living in a sacred and untouched forest – a land of healing and restoration that is protected by the spirits of water, wind, earth and fire.



"ARTE MUSEUM is not a conventional exhibition curated to be seen according to a predetermined order. There are no guidelines, and visitors are encouraged to explore freely, just like they would in real nature," said Kim. Visitors may appreciate a reimagined snapshot of wildlife, relax in digitised serenity, reflect on environmental conservation, or even meditate about the wonders of Earth. The unbounded possibilities have intrigued more than 4.8 million worldwide visitors since the launch of the programme about three years ago.


The immersive experience was made possible by the harmonious marriage of technology, high-definition projectors, audio equipment, scents and content that resonate with the human senses. Kim explained that the platform that hosts all these had empowered d'strict to update content very effectively. "Technology allows us to visualise fantasies and ideas, and to transform them into any format in our site-specific exhibitions. After 'ETERNAL NATURE', we may focus more on an everyday life angle."



An art form underpinned by collaboration


As a media artist by training, Kim recalled how she benefitted from the shared coding knowledge of open source communities. Before media art had any form of general definition, artists and designers must find out how to integrate art with different media through the vehicle of emerging technologies. After learning some coding skills and acquiring the way to talk to computers, they were able to express their creativity and explore further possibilities, in particular, to collaborate with other experts to bring technology, visuals, fine art, sounds, and even fragrances together. "You can call it collaboration, but I think the core ability and the core talent to achieve beautiful art is an open mind," shared Kim.


L. J. Kim, Executive Director of the LIVX Division of d’strict.


This is one of the reasons why she enjoys taking part in conferences and events such as Knowledge of Design Week (KODW), where people from different sectors – who are prepared to attend with an open mind – can meet, discuss and make conversations. Continuous dialogues not only deepen understanding across communities, but also create the bond for people to work towards a sustainable future, as imagined in the unforgettable scenes of nature by d'strict.


Powered by projection mapping, the Christmas media façade of the Dior Concept Store brought nature and festivity to the Seongsu-dong district in Seoul, Korea.


From immersive art to brand values


With the valuable experience gained from constant project collaboration and stakeholder conversations, d'strict applies its unique, highly portable and visual space-based art tech to communicate the brand values of its clients in an awe-inspiring way. Compelling branding campaigns for electronics, fashion, automobiles, expos and more have continued to impress consumers around the globe.