A Damascus Pottery Tile Panel, Ottoman Syria, 18th Century. Christies.


Hammam (Virtual Reality + Short Film + hammam.xyz) 2021

Hammam is a virtual reality experience that takes place in a bath house. Through the spiritual elements of water and light, this space is an opportunity to experience the majestic and romantic nature of Islamic architecture. In Islamic architecture, light is a sublime being that enlightens the soul within the space, timelessly evoking its sanctity as it seeps in through the ceilings gifting every object it touches a golden luminous presence. The synthetic sunlight acts as the protagonist of the experience, as it transcends between the user and the sublime. A mediator that ties two worlds together, the visible and the invisible, the human and the supernatural, blurring the distinction between the interior and the exterior, the real and the imagined. Water's musicality accompanies you through repeated fountains and pools, rhythmically pulsating in the world reminding the user of the flow of the invisible river of time. Unlike the bathhouse in real life, Hammam is desolate and absent from a human spirit. The living beings that accompany you in this world are butterflies, prayer beads, lanterns, fog, water and light. Using these symbolic elements, this world transcends the limits of physical reality into a virtual environment that breaths surrealism and solitude. This project exists as a VR experience, short film, and WebGL simulation.  All the textures present in this world are procedural PBR textures crafted from scratch using reference images of ancient Islamic tiles.

This project is generously supported by the Charles Street Video Media Art Creation Grant

Audio: Original soundtrack composed by Jawa El Khash and designed by Patrick Perez

Technical tools: Unity, Substance Designer, Substance Painter and Oculus Rift

2020 — Group exhibition at the 5th Istanbul Design Biennial and screened as a short film at Pera Museum curated by Mariana Pestana
2021 — Group exhibition at MUTEK's 22nd Edition curated by Sarah Eve Tousignant


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