Pink elephants highlight of BAL! exhibition at Soestdijk Palace

“Highlight of the exhibition is without a doubt the pink elephant in the study of prince Bernhard”, as mentioned by the Dutch newspaper ‘De Telegraaf’, the morning after the first day of the BAL! exhibition at Soestdijk Palace. “A herd of pink elephants marches through the office of prince Bernhard.” What is happening?

Study of prince Bernhard 

Pink elephants don’t exist in real life, but they do in virtual reality. We created a virtual reality experience for an art project of René van Engelenburg, which was set up in the study of prince Bernhard. Van Engelenburg came up with the original concept, guided the project and was head contractor. It was an amazing project to be a part of.

Visitors of the exhibition who entered the room of the exhibition, immediately noticed a pink elephant in the center of the room. As soon as they took a seat on the back of the elephant and put on the VR headset, they were fully submerged into the virtual reality experience.

What they see is a virtual recreation of the study of prince Bernhard. Then, music starts to play and pink elephants appear, dancing in circles around the visitant… You see, prince Bernhard felt a passion for elephants. He collected hundreds of trumpery and filled the whole room with it. To recreate this, we placed countless amounts of elephants, rhinos, hippos, etcetera throughout the entire room.

With his obsession for elephants in mind, we added a little extra to the experience: once you put on the VR headset, you become an elephant with a big trunk attached to your nose. With that trunk you can knock over everything in the room. Dancing pink elephants and music were added later on in the project, as artist René came up with the idea during a brainstorm session.

Content of the VR experience

The actual experience goes as follows: first you see a 3D scan of the current state of the room. Next, you’ll see a 360 photo of the study of prince Bernhard as it used to look like in the old days. This photo fades out to a virtual room and then the music starts to play. The trunk appears and the fun can start!

Are you curious to see what that feels like? Check out the video below.

Do you want to know more about this art project? Read this article from De Volkskrant or listen to this radio fragment from Radio1.

THERE IS A WHOLE NEW WORLD FULL OF POSSIBILITIES TO EXPLORE!
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