Samsara guides audiences into a timeless sci-fi journey that resembles the six realms of reincarnation in Buddhism. Audiences transform into different people and creatures in the VR journey, sensing and experiencing the universe with their new bodies and attempting to reach a state of transcendence through their own spiritualities.
The story imagines self-destruction and calamity on earth in the aftermath of a brutal war. Human beings are forced to leave planet earth but are unable to escape destruction. The godlike artificial intelligence grants rebirth and gives new bodies to collective memory, entering a new ecology cycle and eventually leaving Gaia once more, searching for a new home in the universe. This “post-apocalyptic” narrative encourages reflection on the current human community and crises facing the environment on earth, expressing advice and exhortation toward the series of errors of humanity and our future fate.
This work is rooted in the concept of “Embodied Cognition” from Cognitive Theory and invites audiences to experience the existence and different states of creatures and roles through interactive VR. Only when audiences become aware and feel the world through the bodies of different people and species can we become aware of what “others” think. This further allows the generation of profound empathy and encourages a more comprehensive reflection of our own existential states.
Samsara has received countless international awards and has been critically acclaimed by film professionals and juries, including being shortlisted at the 78th Venice Film Festival and receiving the Jury Award of the SXSW in Texas, Best VR Story of the Cannes XR competition, and Honorary Mention at the Ars Electronica Festival, proof of this work’s universal relevance and its touch on humanity that crosses the boundaries of culture and language.