A surreal VR Artwork by Mélodie Mousset

HanaHana is a VR experience that has been evolving since 2016. Centered on the construction of the human body, it takes the form of an interactive cooperative game that involves building an imaginary immersive environment. Each player can generate their own compositions and leave a trace of their passage through the watery wilderness of archaic sculptures in which human hands of all sizes and colors reach out and up through the surface to the sky. In this surreal world, the arms are not mere extensions of the player’s own body, who can teleport and reproduce themselves on all surfaces: they are also building blocks with which to construct and leave behind a material trace of their journey through this colossal collective sandbox.

This physical experience, was completed in January 2020 with a “multi-bloom” –i.e. collective and connected– version. The exhibition room thus becomes a shared space, both virtual and real, on the boundary between the intimate and the public sphere, in which players in Paris can meet their counterparts elsewhere and perform a music ritual. As the metaverse fills with anthropomorphic structures, synaptic connections appears between the hands forming a large electric network across the virtual and the physical world. The players can collectively play with it like with a virtual theremin. The combination of hypnotic music by American musician Joe Williams and interactive audio by Christian Heinrich, generated in real-time is also a key component of this multi-sensory environment.

This game is partly inspired by Nico Robin, the heroine of Japanese Manga One Piece. By eating HanaHana no Mi “devil fruit”, Nico has acquired a superpower to self-replicate at will. The motifs and phenomena of the absurd dream world of Mousset’s HanaHana draw on the pop aesthetic as well as an archaic fantasy world in which primal phenomena and elements of nature are absorbed and transformed into mythological stories.

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"It was one of the most intense VR Experience I enjoyed so far, great work!"

Florian Braun - Head of Marketing, Vitra

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"To experience HanaHana was mind-blowing for me. I suddenly saw and envisioned the future possibilities of VR in so many fields. Stunning!”

Susanne B.Baumann - Executive Coach Innovation Competence

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"It was as unsettling as it was addictive. They had to pull me out of the experience because I couldn’t stop. This was super fun."

Corine Meijers - submarinechannel.com

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"Watching hands unfurl like flower is oddly beautiful."

Holly Nielsen - theguardian.com

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"HanaHana has redefined the way we explore virtual territories. I’m very proud to have had the chance to program it from Switzerland to China."

Salar Shana - CCO at World VR Forum

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"HanaHana is both intriguing and poignant. The mystery of the audio drew me in, but the panache of the visuals kept me there. Loved, loved, loved it."

Rupert Breheny - Program Manager, Google