OPPO is the leading technology brand in the world. Their diverse product line ranges from phones and televisions to a myriad of IoT devices which are used by more than 430 million people worldwide. While the company continually strives to push the limits of technology and innovation, aesthetic considerations are equally important.
For OPPO, innovation and design extend beyond research and development. OPPO supports creative young minds to imagine the possibilities of science and technology and realize their imaginations through art. To further this aim, the company introduced its Emerging Artists Project, OPPO Renovators, in 2019. The initiative offers talented developing artists the opportunity to submit works that focus on realizing a better future through the combination of art and technology. Winning entrants receive guidance (and inspiration) from renowned artists, a chance to showcase their work on international platforms, including the prestigious London Design Festival, and access to once-in-a-lifetime career opportunities.
In 2020, young artists from 30 countries submitted more than 3,000 works. Based on the theme Cyber Utopia—and inspired by OPPO’s mission of “Technology for Mankind, Kindness for the World”—each work highlighted how it would benefit humanity. The winners were uniformly innovative and inspiring; here are four in particular that captured our attention.
The Galapagos Islands are one of the world’s most robust—and fragile—ecosystems. In this work, Liu creates a virtual world using artificial intelligence that takes us on a journey into an unknown land. The work juxtaposes the world in present day—one filled with extreme heat and drought—with an idealized garden of Eden that, Liu argues, is impossible to even imagine given the current climate catastrophe. It implicitly urges the viewer to recognize the ramifications of climate change—and address remediation efforts with urgency.
With the world’s population continuing to migrate from rural to urban settings, the pull of city living has never been greater. Li’s video depicts the modern city abstractly, with miles of highways draped over each other like pasta noodles on a plate. But the project turns ominous as the artist overlays red pixels and slashes to point out the destructiveness of the megalopolis. At the end, the millions packed on the streets look like ants scurrying around willy-nilly, presenting a stark contrast to the attractiveness of city living: greenery, culture, and the arts—much of which remains inaccessible to lower-income residents. The conclusion? Our burgeoning urban influx comes at a cost.
Welcome to the apocalypse! Chen’s computer-animated work depicts an anonymous, faceless man wandering through a world that is void of any signs of life or semblance of civilization. The piece references the increasingly alarming world events of the past few years that might lead us to an uncertain future—if not the outright destruction of our planet. It shows how climate change, disinformation, and ultra-nationalism are a threat to democracy. In the end, however, the man returns to the earth’s core in order to begin again and offers us a way out, into a new, more hopeful world.
In Liu’s engaging mixed-reality installation, a hidden, underground space in Manchester, England, was transformed into an immersive sanctuary bringing together two contrasting elements: the sky and architecture. Premiering in 2019 at the Distractions Festival, the 3D imagery is projected across a brick-walled cavern, filling the space with dreamlike skyscapes. OPPO mobile phones were equipped with augmented reality software to allow the audience to interact with the projections. Liu’s goal is to provoke an emotional response as visitors find themselves absorbed in a fluid environment of simulated clouds and skies that change in response to how they interact with their surroundings.
How you can be a 2021 OPPO Renovator
OPPO is committed to the belief that art provides us with the canvas on which to imagine the wildest possibilities of technology, while technology provides the means to realize our artistic visions. Art and technology go hand in hand, spurring each other’s development and society’s path forward. The OPPO Renovator project is a driving force behind this relationship and urges Renovators to think boldly about the future.
The theme for this year’s Renovators project is Light, the eternal symbol of renewal, love, and hope. OPPO Renovators 2021 includes two professional contest categories: Art Tech and Art Toy. In the Art Tech category, young artists can freely explore the fusion of technology and art; in the Art Toy competition, they are invited to imagine their own take on OPPO’s mascot, Ollie, in the form of a collectible designer toy.
The artworks selected from OPPO Renovators 2021 will be displayed at global exhibitions, including the London Design Festival and the Dubai World Expo, as well as continuous exposure through global online exhibitions. Young designers participating in OPPO Renovators 2021 will also have the chance to become contracted OPPO designers, through which there may be commercial opportunities to further bring the art to life.
To learn more about and enter the OPPO Renovators 2021, click here.