On the opposite of the most of VR experiences which seek strong emotions, Mandala, A Brief Moment In Time develops a quiet and introspective atmosphere. The experience deals with people’s relationship with the physical world based on the Buddhist philosophical concept of impermanence, which considers that all phenomenon and objects of the physical word are in a state of perpetual change.
Mandala, A Brief Moment In Time is a self-exploration experience. Spectators are first offered the opportunity to fill an empty place by creating, a unique drawing, by interacting with each other. Then, adding to the creative pleasure of this collaborative work, the experience turns into an immersive theater experience. With its physical set design and a live motion-capture actor, the experience aims to an absolute immersion. The creative act will be the root of spectator’s emotional involvement. They will have to protect their creation, accept to let it grow and then learn to let it go. Confronted with humor to a moral dilemma, the experience gives them the opportunity to discover a little more about themselves.
Visiting an ancient Buddhist temple, visitors first enter a preparation room, a storage room for ancient puppetry material. Playing with the puppets, they unlock mini-games and challenges inspired by the story of a famous Chinese folktale, the journey of Sun WuKong the monkey king and Erlang Shen the heaven soldier.
Going through the story and solving the enigmas together visitors are encouraged to reflect on their everyday behavior and weaknesses and learn the philosophical meaning of the mandala. Once they are familiar with the monkey king’s universe, the visitors are allowed to enter the temple, where they find VR equipment and are invited to enter the magical world.
In the virtual reality, they can create together a light structure, their own colorful mandala. They will design their creation by moving together, following a relaxing music. Depending on their movements and choices of interaction and collaboration, each drawing created is unique. The energy instilled in their creation soon brings to life the fantastic creatures of the tale. Their newly found philosophy will be challenged, as they have to choose to protect or not the monkey from the soldier chasing him.