project ”Zugzwang” a virtual reality world

by admin

welcome to Zugzwang, a look into the mind of Alle Jong

Zugzwang is a situation in wich the best move is not to move. Life itself makes you move al the tine were you sometime dont want to. The desperate situation in wich you dont know what life will bring to you is fearfull.


For the last few years i expirimented with animation and computer game design, some projects still did not succeed as i wanted but for my new work ”Zugzwang” things go smoothly. the basics behind this project is that i wanted to look behind the freezed moments in my drawings, bring them alive. In my drawings i quickly sketch fantasy based ideas, most of the time they keep deep  layers of knwoledge in itself in wich you can explore the unkown.

Ingame still of ''Zugzwang''

image 1 :  Ingame still of ”Zugzwang” A whole new but more intense way to experience my world of thinking

From a drawing to Virtual reality

But! A drawing is only flat and not moving at all, so you need your fantasy to unfold the secrets drawn on a piece of paper. I wanted more, art itself (for me) has the purpose to make you experience something that is far away from the real world, i think it is important as an artist to explore new techniques. Why not using new media to go beyond the limits of old art techniques, creating and create a experience far beyond that of a drawing? Project Zugzwang is being build for a virtual reality glasses wich brings you to a stereoscopic 3d environment with headtracking, meaning that if you move your head, you also look within that world into another direction. All this together brings you to another dimension. It is fantastic to step into the world of my drawings! A huge world is being build at the moment in wich you will travel trough several settings brought together from alot of my drawings. Little moments of thought come together in a isolated huge world.

The World of Zugzwang 

Image 2 : A scene found when traveling trough the world of Zugzwang.

As said: In the world of Zugzwang you can walk around in a huge world. It feels like a black/grey drawing, you still need your fantasy to clear up in wich way you read the story of what you see. At thesame time this world is like a dessert you can walk in for up to twenty minutes without discovering anything, but if you keep searching, keep playing, then you will find treasures, little environments in wich my fantasy comes alive for you, like little sketches of my mind brought to you in a real environment. You are moving yourself trough this world, don”t forget this is not a video! You are in that world yourself, you have to explore to discover.

A strange discussion that pops up from this project is that my drawings and paintings will look like a kind of vacation stills showing a place you once visited far away. Because it is not a flat movie youre looking at on your television, or a game on your computer screen but real virtual reality. This makes it a real other dimension, even if it is not out of your room. So have my drawings & paintings become only a refference to my digital world? Even if those drawings were made before this digital world? Or was this world allready existing, and am i opening the door to it, after all somehow this world was allready there in my fantasy all the time, so will this still make my drawings or paintings a refference to another world  (the digital version) you really can explore trough virtual reality?

image 3 : A drawing wich i sculpted into a 3d environment, see other image within this post


New ways of experience: an example

when walking trough Zugzwang, i discovered things i would never know about my world when looking at a drawing of mine. For instance take the drawing shown at image ”3”. In Zugzwang it takes up to twenty minutes to walk to that huge black object, you start far away from it, it is very strange walking for minutes without the object coming closer. It’s that huge! Your experience of scale is fantastic, your way of looking at this object gets more layered.

Virtual Reality glasses combined with head tracking and stereoscopic 3d, sound/music, moving images and characters in a fully 3d environment make you really travel to another dimension. For thousands of years humanity was trying to build machines for manipulating our mind, making us travel to another world. Our brain can imagine whole worlds only by looking at a still image, we learned to read those trough history. For me it is very important not only to paint or draw my worlds, it is old fashioned to only paint or draw as an artist at one hand, for me the most important is making my fantasy as sharp as possible, the mind is always vague, but using computer visuals you can create a real environment. more information and atmospherical footage wil come soon!