4.3.19 / Hong Kong / China

‘DREAMRAVE’ Was an Immersive Exploration of Ego-Death at Hong Kong Art Week

A surrealistic multimedia space from an exciting New York studio

  • In a bustling city like Hong Kong a moment of introspection might be hard to come by, but somehow during one of the busiest weeks in the city—Art Week Hong Kong—Offline Projects managed to create an excursion into the consciousness with their two-part multimedia installation DREAMRAVE. For four days at the new Eaton HK, guests could enter the ‘infinity tunnel,’ a mirrored space leading to a floor-to-ceiling LED wall displaying visuals designed to recreate the four stages of sleep. The second component of the installation was a livestream of the tunnel in which viewers could manipulate the visuals in the physical space.

    Let by creative director Adrian Yu, Offline Projects have done ambitious visual installations, music videos, and cinematography for brands for years in New York, but for this was the first time they took their work across the globe. “In many ways, the response was even more positive by bringing it to Hong Kong Art Week,” Yu says, reflecting on the value of bringing work to a burgeoning art capitol. “DREAMRAVE was an installation project that uses ideas & technology that haven’t been done before, with a visual & sonic style that many audiences in Hong Kong haven’t experienced. Hong Kong’s contemporary art scene is only just being introduced to new media with the introduction of Sonar Hong Kong and Hong Kong Art Basel these past few years – and many people who I’ve spoken to have thanked me for doing something like this in Hong Kong, a breath a fresh air for many.”

  • Throughout the four nights Offline Projects held events, including a kickoff party with sounds by PC Music’s Danny L. Harle. The blend of audio and visuals in the unique space created a sense of disassociation, not unlike an actual rave, which is what the installation was built around. “For me, the rave is more a congregation of people – a collective consciousness built around the DREAMRAVE simulation.” What Yu wanted to recreate was the state of the mind when one is dreaming. “The thought is to recreate the process of ego-death as one dreams. It’s a nonlinear narrative 2 hour cycles split into the 4 stages of sleep, in which the mind begins falling deeper into nonidentity. By allowing audiences to become participants in the piece, either on-site via a feedback looping camera or online via the interactive livestream terminal, they create a constantly evolving entity that forms the new Self.”

    It’s all rooted in Yu’s own desire to understand the nature of dreams, and explore how that connects with identity. “The inspiration behind DREAMRAVE is the very natural act of dreaming that almost all living creatures have experienced, but nobody fully understands.” I’ve experienced ego-death on a few occasions when dreaming – feeling totally lost within my mind under several layers of fantasy that I no longer understood who I was. That’s always very fascinating to me, that our mind is able to create such a fantasy that it nearly destroys the fabric of reality within us – and I wanted to recreate that in new interactive mediums.”

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  • [Danny L. Harle]

  • [Adrian Yu]