THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS AND HTC VIVE™ UNVEIL THE WORLD’S FIRST 3D PRINTED VIRTUAL REALITY SCULPTURES, CREATED BY RA SCHOOLS' ARTISTS

Virtually Real
12 – 14 January 2017
(Friends Preview 11 January 2017)
John Madejski Fine Rooms

London, UK - The Royal Academy of Arts and HTC Vive present an immersive display of the world’s first 3D printed artworks in virtual reality, created by Royal Academy Schools’ alumni Adham Faramawy, Elliot Dodd and current third year student Jessy Jetpacks. Virtually Real takes place from 12 – 14 January 2017 in the Fine Rooms at the Royal Academy (Friends Preview 11 January 2017).

The artists have created their work using the virtual reality platform HTC Vive. Offering an unrivalled experience due to its real-life graphics, HTC Vive enables participants to interact in hundreds of virtual worlds with its innovative hand controllers and room-scale tracking. Aspects of each of the artists’ work have been 3D printed for the first time and visitors will be able to experience these groundbreaking creations in both virtual and physical form.

Each artist involved in the project has a history of working in virtual reality, apps and multimedia. The pieces have been created using a series of artistic software programmes including Tilt Brush – a paint pallet that lets the user paint in a 3D space with virtual reality and Kodon – a virtual 3D modelling tool. SuperHuge 3D printing has been used for the project which is a Hybrid Object Layer Manufacturing (OLM) 3D printing technology.

Visitors are invited to use an HTC Vive headset to immerse themselves in each virtual art world, enabling them to walk through, over, under and around the artwork, while also creating their own VR drawings.

The project showcases the potential of VR where the physical limitations of gravity cease to exist and playback technology allows pieces to be experienced as they are created, as well as in their final physical forms.

Matt Hancock, Minister for Digital and Culture, said: “Virtual reality’s influence in the creative industries is emerging all the time and this shows the possibilities it offers. The collaboration is a fantastic example of how state-of-the-art technology can be used to create innovative and exciting art.”

Mark Hampson, Head of Fine Art Processes, Royal Academy Schools, said: “As a 21st century art school the exciting emergence of new technologies for art production is paramount in our thinking at the RA Schools. We are delighted to be collaborating with HTC Vive on this innovative project, which will extend our knowledge into the relatively unchartered territories for works of art using virtual and digital means, offering us the chance to not only experiment with virtual head set technology but to become pioneers in the production of 3D sculptural forms created from virtually generated imagery. The artists selected for this collaboration represent an emerging generation who are perfectly equipped to investigate the possibilities for an art rooted in the virtual world. Their use of hybrid approaches, that utilise both traditional and future forms, enables them to manipulate technologies both with and against their intended commercial functions. The work they have produced will signpost us to unexpected future creative outcomes and new universes of artistic possibility, helping mould the identity of future art school creativity.”

Jon Goddard, HTC’s Head of European VR Marketing, HTC Vive, said: “This year sees virtual reality truly realising its potential and being used in a huge array of fields – from medical, to travel and also gaming. This collaboration shows VR’s future as an art form and we’re proud to partner with such an established institution as the Royal Academy to achieve this world first. We believe the project will allow visitors to see what can be achieved creatively when the virtual and physical worlds of art are combined, and hopefully be inspired themselves”.

Notes to Editors

Tickets and Admission
Please note a limited number of tickets are available for visitors to take part in Virtually Real and must be pre-booked in advance. 
Tickets are £45.00. Ticket price includes an immersive evening of virtual reality art and one complimentary drink. Tickets and further information can be found online at www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/project-virtually-real

Opening Hours Friends Preview: Wednesday 11 January 2017 Open to the public: Thursday 12 – Saturday 14 January 2017 7 – 11pm (last ticketed admission 10.40pm)

Images
Publicity images for Virtually Real can be obtained from Picselect, the Press Association’s image service for press use. Please register at www.picselect.com and once registered go to the Royal Academy folder in the Arts section of Picselect.

Organisation
This project is a collaboration between the Royal Academy of Arts and HTC Vive.

Artist biographies 
Elliot Dodd (Alumni, Fellow, RA Schools)
Elliot Dodd (b.1978, Jersey), previously studied at the Slade School of Art, London and graduated from the Royal Academy Schools in 2016. Dodd works with surfaces and techniques which embody the spirit of the global techno-macho-man. He designs sculptural objects, drawings and moving images that reconfigure the languages of desire, confidence and authority into a new fluid, composite structure.

Adham Faramawy (Alumni, RA Schools) 
Adham Faramawy (b. 1981, Dubai) is a London based artist of Egyptian origin. His work spans media including moving image, sculptural installation and print, engaging and using technology to discuss issues of embodiment and identity construction. Recent group exhibitions include The Green Ray, Wilkinson Gallery, London, E-Vapor-8, Site Gallery, Sheffield, London Open, Whitechapel Gallery, London, I’m here but you’ve gone, Fiorucci Art Trust, London, Silica, Galerie Sultana, Paris, Half Abstract, DRAF, London, Post Pop to Post Human: Collage in the digital age, Hayward Touring. Solo exhibitions include Janus Collapse (the juice-box edition), Bluecoat, Liverpool, Hydra, Cell Projects, London, Feels Real, Marian Cramer Projects, Amsterdam and Hyperreal Flower Blossom, VITRINE, London. Faramawy’s video works have been included in screening events such as Flatness, Oberhausen Film Festival, Syndrome of a Decade, Ikono Film Festival, Diamond Dust- A shifting grammar of originality, Circa Projects, Edinburgh Arts Festival and 21st Century Pop at the ICA, London touring to Turner Contemporary, Margate, MK, Milton Keynes, Cornerhouse, Manchester and Tramway in Glasgow.

Jessy Jetpacks (Final Year Student, RA Schools)
Jessy Jetpacks (b. 1987, Dubai) is a London based multi-disciplinary artist. Her mediums include painting, sculpture, film, music, audio/video installations, and performance. Themes and interests range from the global political to the fundamental and private human condition; where advocacy, poetry and philosophy become bedfellows. Subverting polemical binaries, Jetpacks explores these themes with sensitivity, finding humour and intrigue within the ouroboros-like metastructures, never wholly consistent or complete, which underpin any narrative of reality. Previously drawing on traditional handicrafts and use of found or recycled materials, current work uses the next generation of “poor” materials, riding the open-source highway into the uncanny valley with low-cost 3D printing, computer game engines, file sharing, and no budget video works.

About HTC Vive
Vive is a first-of-its kind virtual reality system developed in partnership by HTC and Valve (priced at £759.00). Vive was designed from the ground up for room-scale VR, allowing true-to-life interactions and experiences thanks to an adjustable headset displaying stunning graphics, two wireless controllers with HD haptic feedback and 360° absolute motion tracking. For a convenient and safe experience, Vive incorporates essential functionality from your phone and features a front-facing camera that blends physical elements into the virtual world. Working in concert, this system immerses you visually, physically and emotionally in the virtual world.

About HTC
HTC Corporation aims to bring brilliance to life. As a global innovator in smart mobile devices and technology, HTC has produced award-winning products and industry firsts since its inception in 1997, including the critically acclaimed HTC One and HTC Desire lines of smartphones. The pursuit of brilliance is at the heart of everything we do, inspiring best-in-class design and game-changing mobile and virtual reality experiences for consumers around the world. HTC is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE: 2498). www.htc.com

About the Royal Academy Schools
The RA Schools, headed by the Keeper of the Royal Academy, Eileen Cooper RA, have been an integral part of the Royal Academy of Arts since its foundation in 1768 and is the longest established art school in the UK. The RA Schools offers the only free three-year postgraduate programme in Europe. Current Professors include Michael Landy RA, Chantal Joffe RA, Cathie Pilkington RA, Piers Gough RA, Humphrey Ocean RA, Gerald Libby, Tim Green and Roberto Cipolla.

Past students of the RA Schools include JMW Turner RA, William Blake and John Constable RA. More recent alumni include John Hoyland RA, Anthony Caro RA, Paul Huxley RA, Matthew Darbyshire, Rachael Champion, Toby Christian, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Lucy Williams, Hannah Sawtell, Catherine Story, Prem Sahib and Eddie Peake.

The Royal Academy Schools is sponsored by Newton Investment Management.

RA Schools Programme 2017 
Premiums Interim Projects 
Weston Rooms, Norman Shaw Staircase and Architecture Space 
27 January – 5 February 2017 
Premiums Interim Projects will feature the work of artists in their second year at the RA Schools. This annual exhibition provides an opportunity to view new work by emerging artists at a point when their work is still developing whilst on their three year postgraduate course. This year the exhibition will be showing in multiple spaces and will include painting, performance, photography, sculpture, site-specific installation and video.

About the Royal Academy of Arts
The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by King George III in 1768. It has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists. Its public programme promotes the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate.

The RA is undergoing a transformative redevelopment which will be completed in time for its 250th anniversary in 2018. Led by the internationally-acclaimed architect Sir David Chipperfield RA and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the plans will link Burlington House on Piccadilly and Burlington Gardens for the first time, uniting and revitalising the two-acre site. The redevelopment will also reveal the elements that make the RA unique, sharing with the public the historic treasures in its Collection, the work of its Academicians and the RA Schools, alongside its world-class exhibitions programme. For more information on the RA visit www.royalacademy.org.uk/ra250#video

Social Media
Join the discussion about the exhibition online at:
Facebook /royalacademy
Instagram @royalacademyarts
Twitter @royalacademy 
#VirtuallyReal

For further press information, please contact the HTC Vive team at Hope & Glory on 020 3588 9700 or htcvive@hopeandglorypr.com