Happily Contained in VR: Art Night 2018

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Hussein Khalil Communications Director

Art Night 2018: London as the Gallery

Art Night 2018 is the largest, free contemporary arts festival in London. For one night each year, different areas of the city are activated by public installations, exhibitions and one-off events that explore the area’s history, culture and architecture.

Art Night 2018 is held on Saturday July 7th, from 6pm until 6am. This year's edition takes place throughout South Bank, Vauxhall and Nine Elms, featuring 12 special projects curated by the Hayward Gallery, and over 50 presented as part of Art Night Open, curated by cultural organisations, independent artists and creatives.

Happily Contained: A Tale Two Realities

One of the 12 special projects exhibited at this event is 'Happily Contained' by Miao Ying; co-commissioned by Art Night and dsl collection. In collaboration with Somewhere Else, Mbryonic and MMCD, Miao Ying's 'Happily Contained' comes to life as an interactive trans-media installation that questions our perceived reality, who creates it and why. The virtual reality (VR) contemporary art experience calls on the audience to wake up and lift the veil of passive compliance in an increasingly connected world.

Happily Contained VR Art Night


“People are looking at their apps all the time, but they are not really looking at them. I don’t know if people fully realize how technology is changing or controlling our lives.The work deals with the integration of technology and the human spirit.”

Miao Ying - Artist, Happily Contained (2018)

Utopia: Where Art & Technology Collide

Happily Contained is a journey through a manufactured suburbia that represents our digital world. Through irony and humour, Ying creates an eerie, disquieting and fascinating world called 'Utopia'. In this illusive reality, tech companies take on the form of misshapen monsters that have created Utopia to deceive, blind, and pacify us all.

VR Art Night Utopia


“By using VR, we explore the meanings of constructed reality, identity and desire in an impactful way. Happily Contained makes you question what you’re experiencing once the headset comes off. We're augmenting the Embassy Gardens Marketing Suite with audiovisual installations to transform the space into the antechamber to Miao Ying’s fabricated world.”

Christophe Mallet - Co-founder, Somewhere Else

Ying uses VR and internet aesthetics to construct her own representation of reality, wherein tech companies fabricate a digital world to fuel the spread of their own technology. She’s using virtual reality to challenge these new modes of politics, and this way is able to make her statement immersive.

Landscape .gif, Miao Ying


“We tried to replicate Ying's visual style of a 'digital montage' by following her process: adapting, combining and manipulating 3D assets 'found' on the internet. This creates a particular aesthetic that requires balance and sensibility. We hope that our work can inspire artists to get involved with VR.”

Tom Szirtes - CEO, Mbryonic

Now more than ever, it’s important that we understand how technology impacts our lives. They say experience is the best teacher. So make sure you experience ‘Happily Contained’ at the Embassy Gardens Marketing Suite on Saturday July 7th, from 6:00 pm until 4:00 am.


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