Spotlight : What’s So Fascinating about Chinese Art in the Virtual World Second Life?

VWBPE 2023 Spotlight
Presented On: March 23, 2023
Speaker(s): Mary Stokrocki
Categories: Creativity & Innovation

For over 10 years, I have been teaching students in the virtual world Second Life, a virtual world computer environment regarded as a giant playground (Chen, 2022). When teaching about Second Life in Taiwan, using digital storytelling, I invited students to explore Chinese sites with me (Stokrocki & Chen, 2013). They reported intriguing Chinese artistic discoveries in different locations. These sites ranged from commercial Buddha art shops, spiritual hangouts, historical reconstructions, museums, and educational places to postmodern mashups. Students discovered such famous historical sites as The Terracotta Warriors and contemporary installations revealing social concerns about Chinese overcrowding and pollution. Two students pretended to be part of the sites. One student jumped into a photograph, and another played a musical instrument there, then education becomes self-expression and play, where participants expand their natural interests. Chinese art sites on Second Life are constantly changing as past/present cultural mashups, mixtures of pop and realistic forms, that transcend mere commercial sites. Besides concern for protecting their cultural heritage sites, Second Life Chinese artists value their freedom to be critical and creative. We need to examine cultural appropriation and spectacles and encompass moral educational values.

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Presentation on YouTube

Tags: 'creative, critical, connections'

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