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By Rebecca Lo | HK EDITION | Updated: 2022-01-28 14:23
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Laila uses artificial intelligence, virtual reality, video-projection mapping, 360-degree spatial sound and real-time sensors to create an immersive, interactive experience that is personalized to each audience member. [PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY]

Hong Kong Arts Festival 50th edition kicks off in February, and all hands are on deck to ensure that everyone invested in the milestone will be rewarded. A series of online and in-person performances has been lined up to cope with a third year of pandemic-induced restrictions.

Learning from the two previous editions of disrupted live shows, it is no surprise that technology plays a big role in HKAF's roster. Whether through the immersive opera Laila, the interactive piano recital Nirvana or the conceit of uploading audiences into the theater for To Be a Machine, this year's artists are exploring technology's infinite ways of reaching people.

"Virtual reality has always been a part of our festival as a way to tell stories and engage audiences, but it was one strain of what we do," says Tisa Ho Kar-kuan, HKAF's executive director. "Laila is a new focus for us that aligns and supports art tech."

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