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Snapchat Team Up With Aussie Artist For 'Secret' Sculpture By The Sea Bondi

20 October 2023 | 2:42 pm | Jessie Lynch

This partnership marks the first-ever collaboration between an AR platform and a sculptor at the world's largest free-to-the-public outdoor sculpture exhibition.

Sculpture by the Sea

Sculpture by the Sea (Supplied)

Snapchat and Australian artist Mond Qu are taking art to the next level at this year's Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi exhibition.

In a groundbreaking collaboration, they're introducing an innovative augmented reality experience that promises to be a highlight of the 2023 event.

Mond Qu, a talented artist based in Melbourne, has teamed up with Snapchat to create a spectacular AR artwork that complements his on-site sculpture, Chasing the Sun, at Tamarama Beach.

This partnership marks the first-ever collaboration between an AR platform and a sculptor at the world's largest free-to-the-public outdoor sculpture exhibition.

Chasing the Sun is a large-scale sculpture on Tamarama Beach featuring over 1,000 circular light reflectors. These reflectors are arranged in a geometric design, scattering sunlight in various directions, creating a mesmerising display that changes as the sun moves across the sky.

Visitors to Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi can now unlock an augmented reality lens using Snapchat. This lens transforms Chasing the Sun into an interactive artwork, thanks to the integration of ray-tracing technology. This technology allows digital objects to interact with real-world lighting and reflections in real-time. As a result, the lens uses the sun's position to offer different experiences throughout the day.

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With the AR overlay, the artwork becomes an immersive experience that tracks the sun's journey across the sky. It enables exhibition visitors to build on and expand the sculpture into the surrounding landscape, blurring the lines between the physical and digital worlds.

But what about those who can't make it to Sydney? Snapchat has you covered — They've created a global Snapchat AR lens in collaboration with Mond Qu. This lens uses ground and surface tracking, allowing Snapchatters from around the world to place Chasing the Sun in their own environment, scaling it to fit any location in their surroundings.

Mond Qu said of the exciting project: "Working with Snapchat has given me the chance to take my Chasing the Sun artwork to new heights, creating a distinctive blend of an interactive project and a sculpture that embodies our profound connection with light.”

“The artwork seamlessly fuses the physical and the digital, allowing visitors to journey through time effortlessly, witnessing the sculpture's transformation throughout the day."

Snapchat's history of collaboration with renowned artists is well-known. They've created global lenses and site-specific AR experiences in various parts of the world. This collaboration with Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, and their creative partnership with Mond Qu brings this cutting-edge technology to Australia, and follows previous projects with renowned artists and institutions like Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, Alex Israel, Christo, The Pompidou Centre, and The Gagosian.

Tony Keusgen, Managing Director of Snap Inc. ANZ, shared his thoughts: "At Snapchat, we have a proud history of bringing artists and technologists together to push the boundaries of creative expression and explore how augmented reality can enhance the world around us.”

“We're thrilled to be bringing this to Australia and working with the globally renowned Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi exhibition to put the wonder of AR into this naturally stunning outdoor gallery and showcasing the work of talented Australian artists like Mond Qu to Snapchatters around the world."

The Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi exhibition is open from October 21 to November 6 and stretches along the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk.

To unlock the on-site AR experience created in collaboration with Mond Qu, just head on down to Chasing the Sun on the sand at Tamarama Beach and use your phone camera to scan the QR code, or search in Lens Explorer on Snapchat.