Mixing virtual reality, robotics, and Indigenous art, Shawn Hunt's Transformation Mask goes on view December 2 and 3 at UBC Museum of Anthropology

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      Visitors to the UBC Museum of Anthropology will get a short chance to try out celebrated Heiltsuk artist Shawn Hunt's cyborglike Transformation Mask this weekend.

      If you missed it when it debuted earlier this fall at the VAG's Fuse event, this is your second chance to engage with the Raven: the interactive, high-tech mask will be on viewat the MOA from 1 to 5 p.m. on December 2 and 3.

      The installation, a collaboration with Microsoft's creation studio, the Garage, sees Hunt moving away from his traditional hand-carved surfaces, Instead, he's utilized everything from 3-D printing to robotics and Microsoft's HoloLens, creating what's being described as an "experiential sculpture piece that engages with mixed reality".

      Shawn Hunt's Transformation Mask


      Built with cutting-edge designers and engineers, the assembled Raven mask is a meter long and made up of more than 20 3-D-printed components. The holographic experience was created using Unity3D, where the animation produces effects like sparks, smoke, and fire invoke a series of 3D drawings that interact with the real world as they come and go. 

      In short, the bird mask itself transforms, and then through it, the viewer can access another world. Like so much of Hunt's other work, from his surreal paintings to his culture-mashing carvings, the piece explores Indigenous identity and what it means. It also uses high tech to invoke the transformational experience passed down through ancient Indigenous myth.

      The viewing experience lasts about 30 seconds and will be available on a first come, first served basis. The mask has been deemed not suitable for children 13 and under. Trying it out is free with admission to the gallery.