We are always thrilled when people we admire venture into VR. A recent example being David Choe. For the unacquainted, Choe is a supremely talented world renowned painter from Los Angeles. More than that, he is a creative soul completely unafraid to expand his vision into unexplored territories. This includes his raucous and surrealistic punk band Mangchi featuring a cadre of talented musicians including legendary keyboardist Money Mark of Beastie Boys fame.
“I’ve been doing music my whole life,” Choe explains. “I was in bands in high school, but was always there waiting for four other guys to get their shit together. I think because of my narcissism and ego, I went into art and music became a hobby. So we just put this motley crew of weirdos together. And we’re making music just to make music. My musical taste is so diverse, from 80s pop like the Depeche Mode to Debbie Gibson to bands like Fugazi and underground hip-hop.”
We were introduced to Choe through Eric Nakamura of Giant Robot Gallery and immediately knew we wanted to collaborate. His band Mangchi happened to be performing that weekend. Historically we have been reluctant to capture live music performances due to visual constraints. Choe assured us we would have total freedom and we went for it. The resulting 360° experience depicts Mangchi’s pre performance ritual where Choe paints the other musicians conveying the feel of ancient warriors preparing for battle. That scene is intercut with the mayhem of the concert with our cameras positioned directly in the middle of the proceedings, half on stage and half in the churning moshpit.
“I guess most bands don’t want the cameras on stage, and I was like, I don’t give a shit. People are flying into the camera and flying over it. It’s very ritualistic before each show where we just hang out and put on make up and joke around, it feels like you’re getting ready for something. I really think Wevr capturing that show in VR caught this weird intersection in our lives. I want people not to be scared and to be free. If you’re an artist you just go for it.”
“The best place to capture an event is where they usually won’t let you put the camera,” explains director Luis Blackaller. “But David said we could do whatever we wanted. We knew we were gonna capture the performance and we also decided to capture the backstage scene as well. And David being a painter, he paints on the bodies of all the band members. So we captured this these very intimate moments of the body painting and talking and then this super energetic loud music performance.”
David Choe is both as a visionary artist and an iconoclastic instigator and adventurer. He is a successful painter who refuse to sell his works. “I don’t like the idea of only rich people being able to have it so I either give it away or do public murals,” he recently told us. A week ago David left for Tanzania in Eastern Africa to follow the remaining members of a near extinct tribe on one of their hunting rituals. Prior to his departure we handed David one of our GoPro Omni cameras to document the trip.
“We are convinced David Choe can bring something totally unique and vital to immersive experiences,” says Wevr co-founder Anthony Batt. “He is an artist in the most literal sense, where his vision is not confined to any one medium. He has a curiosity about the world that we find exhilarating. And whatever trip he wants to take, we want to be there to document it.”