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WOW's original interactive artwork "UNITY of MOTION" opens at Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul

Press Release   •   Jan 15, 2016 09:00 GMT

WOW Inc. (Headquarters: Shibuya Ward, Tokyo. President: Hiroshi Takahashi, hereafter referred to as "WOW") is pleased to announce the opening of UNITY of MOTION, an original, new artwork by WOW at Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul (in Seoul, Korea). On January 13th, people involved with art who reside in Seoul were in attendance and a reception was held. This artwork senses the viewer's heartbeat and displays moving images generated by an artificial life program on 3 giant monitors; V shaped monitor (approx. 8.2m x 1.2m), inside monitor of the building (approx. 9.7m×3.4m) and outside monitor of the building (approx.22m×3.4m).


UNITY of MOTION considers all moving things to possess the life force. By expressing the fusion of nature and the machine, this work aims, through motion, to provide an opportunity to reconsider the boundary between living and non-living things. In recent years, various kinds of sensors that detect biological data have become available for use. Such sensors have appeared in a range of interactive artworks. In pressing a button or using a key, for example, the people who experience these artworks have performed a proactive action. This has enabled them to communicate with the work by manipulating it themselves. However, by directly incorporating and reflecting data that derives from processes that sustain human life - such as the heartbeat and bioelectric potential - the artist can give people experiencing the work the feeling that they have become a part of the work. UNITY of MOTION utilizes CG animation, which uses an artificial life program called Boids, and generates behavior in the work that is rather like a group of life-forms. The thing driving all this is the heartbeat data of the person experiencing the work.

The seemingly different movement of the machine and the groups of lifeforms is stimulated by the beating of the human heart. This work fuses these in a virtual space, thus presenting a new life environment. It is made up of three devices: HEART, NATURE, and MACHINE.

  • HEART (Sensor Sculpture)

An infrared ray detects an individual's pulse from the palm of their hand. The top section of the molding uses pistons - a part of the engine, which is the heart of the car - that are actually installed in HYUNDAI vehicles.

  • NATURE (Media Wall 1: approx. 9.7m x 3.4m)

A huge monitor uses computer simulation to visualize the movement of groups of lifeforms that exists in the natural world. When HEART detects pulse data, movement occurs. This movement may be like that of groups of living organisms such as birds. The movement is generated by Boids, an artificial life simulation program. Even though each individual part has been designed to move in accordance with a simple rule, as a whole, the behavior is complex.

  • Machine (Media Wall 2: approx. 8.2m x 1.2m)

Machine refers to the monitor, which is arranged in the shape of the letter "V" and symbolizes mechanical movement. When in standby mode, it displays a circular motion (which is also included in the movement of engine pistons), together with the closely related trigonometric function (Sin, Cos). When HEART detects a human heartbeat, the sine and cosine waves depart from their regular cyclical motion and come to harbor life. They transforms into organisms such as birds and butterflies, which form groups and bustle around dynamically.

In UNITY of MOTION, information on the beating of the human heart infuses life into NATURE and MACHINE through the HEART interface. This work is based on the view that life is found in movement itself. Movement fuses nature and the machine and guides it to a new moving body. That moving body eventually returns to nothingness. This continuous cycle presents a completely different aspect each time as it spins a story of each individual life and death.

What is Boids?

Boids is an Artificial Life program presented in 1986 by Craig Reynolds. The word Boids comes from a contraction of bird-oid objects. The flocking dynamics displayed in NATURE in this work was created using this program. This program applies the following three rules to the individual blocks which make up the flock, defining how each individual relates to others close to it; this allows it to determine its movement direction and speed.

- Separation: When they come too close together, move apart so they don't collide

- Alignment: Fly in the same direction without too much distance in between

- Cohesion: Fly towards the center of mass of the flock

Flocks of birds and schools of fish can appear both chaotic and ordered, and exhibit truly complex behavior. Due to the combination of simple rules, Boids makes it possible to effectively express this kind of movement.

What is Hyundai Motorstudio?

It is the platform of Hyundai Motor that transmits and supports the various projects of artists who continue to go beyond boundaries and take on different challenges. Now the landmark of the Gangnam area, Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul, has become a valuable venue for select artists to send out innovative projects, and offers showcase opportunities and venues to artists who bear the globally important roles of developing modern art. In the past, Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul has exhibited works by artists who are active internationally from United Visual Artist and Universal Everything, and this time WOW will be participating as their first Japanese artist. Hyundai Motorstudio's art project joined a long-term partnership with museums such as London's Tate and Seoul's MMCA, and is putting effort in supporting art.

Hyundai Motorstudio

Exhibition Information

Period: Until the end of April, 2016 (estimate)

Time: 09:00~21:00

Venue: HYUNDAI MOTORSTUDIO SEOUL,738 Eonju-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Press Kit Download

WOW inc. is a visual design studio based in Tokyo, Sendai and London. We are involved in a wide range of design, from advertising and commercials, to installation work for exhibition spaces, and also invent new user interface designs for prominent brand names. We are very passionate about creating original art work, and hold exhibitions not only in Japan but also internationally. We are continuously discovering the tremendous possibilities of visual design, and we believe the visual designs that are useful for society bring out the best talents of each artist and designer.

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