Nonny de la Peña: The Life of a Wall on Lin He Road for 15 Invitations, 23–25 Mar 2017. Courtesy of Nonny de la Peña.
Image of The Life of a Wall on Lin He Road for 15 Invitations by Nonny de la Peña, 2017.


VR Project | Passage: The Life of a Wall on Lin He Road

September 30, 2018
AAA in A, '09-'21

43 Remsen St. Brooklyn, NY

Recognized for using cutting-edge technologies to tell both fictional and news-based stories that create immersive, empathic engagement, Nonny de la Peña drew from AAA’s Collection to create a new iteration of Safely Manoeuvring Across Lin He Road (1995) by New York and Beijing based artist Lin Yilin.

In the initial 1995 performance, Lin built a wall of bricks in the middle of a busy roadway in Guangzhou. As the artist moved across the road, he gradually brought the wall along—forcing cars to detour around him. For Passage: The Life of a Wall on Lin He Road, de la Pena recreated the environment of Guangzhou in the 1990s through an immersive virtual reality experience where participants took on Lin’s role as roadside artist. Using digital technology, de la Peña did not simply re-enact Lin’s performance but created an experiential encounter that pushed boundaries: between artist as maker, audience as receiver, and art as conceptual or visceral.

Asia Art Archive first presented this project in 2017 at Art Basel in Hong Kong and in India at Serendipity Arts Festival. The creation of this project was supported by Lavina and William Lim and is brought to New York with the support of HTC VIVE Arts. A related event  took place on October 5, 2018 at the Asia Society’s panel on VR Technology in Arts and Museums.

Nonny de la Peña is known for her work as “The Godmother of Virtual Reality,” co-founding Emblematic Group in the United States. A Yale Poynter Media Fellow and former Annenberg Fellow at USC School of Journalism and Communications, her work has been featured through the BBC, Engadget, Games For Change, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, The New York Times, Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals, Vice, Victoria and Albert Museum, Wired, and World Economic Forum in Davos, among other international outlets.

Lin Yilin lives and works in New York and Beijing. He co-founded the artist group Big Tail Elephants in 1990 and participated in Cities on the Move (1997); 2nd Johannesburg Biennale (1997); 1st Taipei Biennial (1998); 4th Gwangju Biennale (2002); 50th Venice Biennale (2003); documenta 12 (2007); 10th Lyon Biennale (2009); 12th Swiss Sculpture Exhibition (2014); and the 12th Havana Biennial (2015), among other international exhibitions.

About HTC VIVE ARTS: VIVE Arts is a global virtual reality program, within HTC VIVE, set to advance creation and appreciation of the arts. Vive Arts’ strives to enable and preserve cultural heritage for the world, and to democratize creation with digital innovation in the arts. In doing so, Vive Arts’ addresses a diverse, global audience and contributes to the knowledge and enjoyment of our cultural heritage, both in museums and in the home.For more information on VIVE Arts, visit or for more information on Vive visit

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This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.