Wevr + Artist_David Choe Release New VR Experience Mangchi
Today, acclaimed virtual reality production studio and distribution company Wevr announces the launch of its newest VR experience, “Mangchi,” in collaboration with Los Angeles painter and artist David Choe. Choe’s raucous and surrealistic punk band Mangchi features several talented musicians, including legendary keyboardist Money Mark (of the Beastie Boys).
“I’ve been doing music my whole life,” Choe says. “I was in bands in high school, but was always there waiting for four other guys to get their shit together. I think because of my narcissism and ego, I went into art, and music became a hobby. So we just put this motley crew of weirdos together. And we’re making music just to make music.”
Upon meeting Choe, the Wevr team immediately knew they wanted to collaborate with him, and Manghi happened to be performing that weekend. Historically, Wevr has been reluctant to capture live music performances in VR due to visual constraints. Choe assured them they’d have total freedom, and they went for it.
The resulting 360 degree experience depicts Mangchi’s pre-performance ritual in which Choe paints the other musicians, conveying the feel of ancient warriors preparing for battle. That scene is intercut with the mayhem of the concert, with Wevr’s cameras positioned directly in the middle of the proceedings, half on stage and half in the churning moshpit.
“It’s very ritualistic before each show, where we just hang out and put on makeup and joke around,” says Choe. “I really think Wevr capturing that in VR caught this weird intersection in our lives. I want people not to be scared and to be free. If you’re an artist, you just go for it.”
“The best place to capture an event is where they usually won’t let you put the camera, explains director Luis Blackaller (Creative Director at Wevr). “But David said we could do whatever we wanted. We knew we were going to capture the performance, and we decided to capture the backstage scene as well. And David being a painter, he paints on the bodies of all the band members. So we captured these very intimate moments of the body painting, and then this super energetic loud music performance.”
“We are convinced David Choe can bring something totally unique and vital to immersive experiences,” says Wevr co-founder Anthony Batt. “He is an artist in the most literal sense, where his vision is not confined to any one medium. He has a curiosity about the world that we find exhilarating. And whatever trip he wants to take, we want to be there to document it.”