Technology is always considered to be cold and the use of technology during human grief is always been a topic of discussion. Considering this Lee Hung Suk , director of Vive Studios decided to participate in this project to see if technology can comfort and warm people minds.
A Digital recreation of Jang Ji-Sung’s 7 years old daughter was made in South Korea, who died 4 year ago from a rare incurable blood disease. Meeting her daughter’s avatar wearing virtual reality goggles has been a complex and deeply emotional experience for this grieving mother. Through this virtual reality she could see her daughters playing around. She could also hold hands with her daughter through haptic gloves. Due to this virtual reality simulation she speaks to her daughter brushing fingers through her hairs.
In this video Neyeon emerged from the pile of woods of a park. “Mom, where have you been? Have you been thinking of me?” said Neyeon. After seeing her daughter Jung was choked-up and with tears in her eyes she replied “Always.” Her daughter was wearing her favourite purple dress and carrying a pink purse.
In the interview, she said: “I wanted to touch my daughter. I tried to hold her hand and stroke her face.”
In the VR they held hands and Jang also sang Neyeon a birthday song, they had seaweed soup which is a traditional Korean birthday dish and she gave her a piece of honey cake.
This emotional reunion which was entitled as ‘Meeting Her’ was aired last week in a documentary by South Korean broadcaster MBC. The reunion has been made possible by advances and virtual reatily(VR).This studio used photos and recreated Nayeon’s mother memory which was emposed on the movement of a child actor using virtual simulation.
The producer of this documentary Kim Jong-woo, said that they focused on remembering Neyeon rather than recreating her so that Jang and her family would feel as if her daughter had lived happily ever after.
“It’s heartbreaking that her time has stopped at the age of 7, But I was so happy to see her that way” Jang said.