Alan Kwan is an artist, game designer, and technologist. Completed his master's at MIT, he is primarily interested in using videogame and virtual reality technologies to build worlds, stories, and immersive experiences that are outside of the traditional gaming paradigm. Instead of putting you into fights, competitions, and puzzle-solving, his projects seek to craft emotional journeys that let you wander through otherworldly places, without the pressure of completing missions or fighting monsters.
Recently, his experimental videogame "Scent" (link) won the Honorary Mention Award at Prix Ars Electronica in Austria, while "Forgetter", a videogame he co-directed with Allison Yang and collaborated with DSLCOLLECTION, an art collection based in Paris, won the Excellence in Innovation Award at the 2021 indiePlay China Indie Game Awards, as well as the Best Serious Game Award and the Honorary Mention Award at the GWB Game Awards. His videogame "The Hallway" was also acquired by the Hong Kong M+ Museum as part of its permanent art collection.
Alan's other projects, which include VR experiences, interactive installations, flying machines, etc. were presented at venues including Ars Electronica Center (Austria), International Bauhaus Colloquium (Germany), ZKM Centre for Art and Media (Germany), and Museum of Contemporary Art (Shanghai), and were featured in media including Discovery Channel, Popular Science, and Boston Globe. He was awarded the first prize of the MIT Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Prize, Asian Cultural Council Fellowship, and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council Award for Young Artist (Media Art).
Apart from his artistic interests, he is also deeply interested in how 3D virtual world, as a spatial medium, can help people organize or learn complex information by leveraging their spatial cognition. He started experimenting with the idea of building virtual memory palace in 2011, and then in 2016 he collaborated with architect and designer Meng Sun to make an interactive 3D educational tool.
Currently, he is also part of the faculty at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts where he teaches and develops research projects that focus on the intersection of immersive technologies, virtual worlds, and performing arts.