These Technologies are Works of Art

Andre Wee

Would it interest you if I told you there’s a technology that allows artists to walk through their paintings as though they are real? And better still, that you can use it for free?

If that caught your attention, then listen up. Here is how freelance illustrator André Wee got his big break through emerging art-tech.

André, who has been freelancing for eight years, always had a penchant for 3D art, but it wasn’t until he encountered Google’s Tilt Brush that he found the perfect tool to create them.

“With this technology, you are no longer extracting the experience of art where you have to look at a flat screen and imagine yourself being in the space. Here, you are in that space. It removes that layer altogether, that filter. As the audience, you can see it as though you were in my shoes when I am creating it. It’s a new level of interaction and an experience,” shared 28-year-old André.

 

Virtual reality (VR) painting is not the only thing he picked up. He also learned other mind-boggling art-tech by technology titans such as Apple, Lenovo and Autodesk. They involve 3D printing, augmented reality (AR), mixed reality, artificial intelligence, projection mapping and more.

His Big Break

He had over 10 paid projects with Tilt Brush thus far, taking three weeks on average per project. Notable clients include Singapore Stock Exchange and Tax Free World Association.

This would not have been possible if André had not chanced upon MeshMinds’ Creative Innovation Lab in October 2017.

He was trained for free under the lab’s “Please Insert Human” six-week programme, which invites artists to come up with project ideas that uses art-tech for good. An example is towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goals such as climate change, diversity and inclusion, and underprivileged communities.

Andre is now working on an AR animation project to teach people about Singapore as a sustainable city of the future. The project will be included in the next showcase at ArtScience Museum in early 2019.

MeshMinds regularly partners institutions such as LASALLE College of the Arts to bring new-age art-tech into the curriculum.

“What we realise is that many students graduate from art institutions without any idea of what they going to do. Introducing them [to] all these emerging technologies will give them more opportunities, get them paid and expand their career,” explained MeshMinds Chief Education Officer Fadhil Nasser.

MeshMinds also incubates selected artists by training them and granting access to their technologies. It refers artists to new opportunities. Corporations looking to leverage emerging art-tech for their marketing purposes for instance, can engage the artists that MeshMinds represents.

Recently, MeshMinds presented two installations at the SkillsFuture Festival launch on 30 June 2018 – a digital graffiti wall made with a 3D-printed spray can and light-painting in virtual reality. André was there to conduct a live drawing performance and a workshop.

Translating Art-Tech into Value

In collaboration with Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, Griffith Film School and Warrior9 VR, MeshMinds launched the first Asia VR/AR Impact Lab at the Techsauce Global Summit on 22 June 2018.

The lab aims to understand the engagement, empathetic responses and behavioural changes linked to VR/AR experiences on social, environmental, and economic challenges that are created by Asian content creators.

Results will be published in research papers online and offline as well as at conferences and public showcases.

“A deeper understanding of how impact works will help us to tell more effective stories using immersive technologies. It’s also a great platform for AR/VR practitioners based in Asia to contribute their expertise to this rapidly growing global industry,” said Ashima Thomas, CEO of local VR company, Warrior9 VR.

Going forward, MeshMinds is working on a membership-driven digital marketplace where artists can showcase their portfolio, meet collaborators, or get hired for projects. The online platform is slated for 2019.

Good to Know

Please Insert Human Programme

Period: April 2018 – April 2019

Interested parties can email kay@meshminds.com with your name, a link to your artist portfolio, and a description of 200 words or less about your idea, including which key focus area you have chosen.

Available Tools at MeshMinds’ Artist Incubation