New media artist Huang Hsin-Chien’s (黃心健) latest VR production Samsara Ep. 1 (輪迴) won the “Jury Awards” in the Virtual Cinema Competition category at SXSW. This is the first VR production from Taiwan to receive this prestigious award, and once again puts Taiwanese content to the top global VR stage.
Samsara Ep. 1 received the financial support of the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) and was filmed in TAICCA’s IP Lab using 4DViews technology. TAICCA congratulates Huang on this incredible honor, and expresses gratitude to the juries for their recognition of Taiwanese works. TAICCA will continue to support the development of “future content” (AR, VR, and XR) in Taiwan through various programs to forge a global innovation hub for immersive content.
South by Southwest (SXSW) is the world's largest innovative creative content international exhibition celebrating the interactive, film, and music industries. The virtual cinema competition at the South by Southwest Film Festival is a significant event for immersive content, converging the world’s most creative VR productions, gathering the world’s most prominent juries from Venice, Cannes, and Berlin film festivals.
Huang’s award-winning production is an in-depth exploration of Taiwan’s native culture, incorporating aboriginal tribes and indigenous species as visual elements. Combined with modern and science fiction narrative, the story brings out the heterogeneity of global localization. In the production process, Taiwan was used as the main creative base, and international experts were invited to participate. TAICCA’s IP Lab also provided technical assistance to integrate Taiwan's high-end XR production technology and IP development capabilities.
“From content creation to technical development, Taiwan has produced world-class VR content,” said TAICCA Chairperson Ting Hsiao-Ching. “Through TAICCA’s various programs to assist the ‘future content’ industry, I hope that Taiwanese works can continue to lead the way on the global level and be recognized by international professionals.”
Starting from 2020, TAICCA has been promoting the development of the “future content” industry, starting with the “Cultural Content and Technology Application Flagship Program”. The program promotes the cross-domain co-creation of cultural and technological industries and invests in immersive content. Thus far, the flagship program has assisted more than 80 innovative projects, and Samsara Ep. 1 is among the works supported by the program.
In addition, TAICCA also launched the "Immersive Content Grant for International Co-funding or Co-Productions” to encourage the use of new technologies to explore creative possibilities, develop industry ecosystem, and to open up new market potential of Taiwanese immersive content. Huang’s previous award-winning work "Through the Body" is a recipient of said grant, and is a successful example of how the production can be upgraded to an immersive experience theater without a head-mounted display.
As part of TAICCA’s mission to expand cooperation with international exhibitions and organizations, the agency has partnered with the French NewImages Festival to host two Taiwan-French XR talent exchange programs from June to November. The future content co-creation partnership will provide resources across each stage of content creation, from guiding technological integration and introducing international funding, moving the industry forward to build a whole new content experience.
TAICCA presented six XR productions at the SXSW this year with “TCCF” as the core concept of the Virtual Venue. TCCF (Taiwan Creative Content Fest) is an annual international exhibition that celebrates local culture that’s driven by technology and creativity. To experience the “TCCF Virtual Venue @ SXSW,” please visit https://sxsw2021.taicca.tw/.