Earlier this month, HOFA was set to début renowned artist, Zhuang Hong Yi’s latest body of work, ‘Nova’, at the official opening of their new 4,000 sq. ft gallery on Bruton Street, Mayfair. Although the planned opening had to be shelved when the crisis hit, HOFA’s forward-thinking business team quickly re-strategised to prioritise virtual art experiences. They recognised that virtual art experiences were in alignment with their business goals and would offer some comfort to their clients and art lovers during what has become an increasingly difficult time.
Elio D’Anna, Creative Director and co-Founder of HOFA Gallery, said, “Like all businesses, and the art industry in general, we’ve been floored by recent events. We’re faced with new challenges and are doing our best to conquer them.”
D’Anna adds “One minute we were planning our launch evening for 500 people, the next our doors were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our clients and community need every relief they can get in this time of self-isolation and with this in mind, we are fast-tracking our new virtual art programmes.”
The virtual reality (VR) version of Zhuang Hong Yi’s exuberantly colourful solo exhibition, ‘Nova’, is one of these virtual art programmes which already opened with much success.
So far, over 20k people have tuned in to see it from various parts of the world. Set in HOFA’s flagship gallery in Mayfair, the virtual exhibition features a high-definition rendition of the entire Nova collection as seen on site at the Bruton Street gallery. Each artwork can be viewed ‘true to life’ in a 3-dimensional form within a 360o scene designed to mirror a walk-in experience at the state-of-the-art HOFA Gallery.
Commenting on the virtual ‘Nova’ exhibition, Simonida Pavicevic, Curator and Co-Founder of HOFA, said “Perhaps now more than ever, people need art in their lives. The Coronavirus crisis and ensuing lockdown have drastically changed things and will keep many from experiencing simple joys like the early blooms of spring. I can’t think of a better way of bringing beauty to art lovers than through the virtual show of Zhuang’s ‘Nova’ Exhibition. His work is a favourite among HOFA’s collectors, and we hope that through their tablets and VR headsets, people can experience the beauty of Zhuang’s art to the fullest.”
The virtual ‘Nova’ exhibition is a foretaste of what viewers can expect from HOFA’s upcoming virtual art programmes. As Co-Founder D’Anna describes it, these virtual shows will become increasingly immersive and social with a feature to experience the tour with friends, a virtual tour guide, detailed commentary from the artists and live DJs or curated music to play alongside the art. He also said art would always be in focus as latest 3D capturing and rendering technologies would be used to generate each artwork in high-resolution for clarity, depth and a truly lifelike experience.
Other virtual shows in the works include the ‘Here & Now’ group exhibition which will run exclusively online from 6 April to 3 May, with a portion of the earnings set to be donated to support the NHS during these overwhelming times. A virtual show of Marco Grassi’s ‘Mama Raised Me Right’ will also run from 20 May till 3 June bringing the Italian artist’s popular figurative portraits to fans in a high-definition 3D virtual experience.
In addition, HOFA plans to unveil other special art programmes including news, reviews and advice such as ‘Investing in art during the crisis’. According to HOFA’s founders, these programmes are designed to deliver value to the art-loving community by bridging the divides heightened by the Coronavirus crisis.
The virtual ‘Nova’ exhibition is now live and can be seen via a secure link.