Qatar week presentation at Institute of contemporary art

This presentation will delve into my two new projects and upcoming publications. 

The first project, SentimentVoice, is a collaborative effort with VCU Computer Science, integrating Emotion AI and Virtual Reality within the realm of Performing Arts. SentimentVoice is a live VR project using emotion-tracking AI to amplify immigrant stories, touching on emotional surveillance, vulnerabilities, and the potential for empathy and mutual understanding. It explores two facets of AI: surveillance and empathy, funded by Commonwealth Cyber Initiative grant 2023. 

The second one, HonoringVoice, is in partnership with the School of Social Work and Dept of Psychiatry, focusing on Embodied Avatar Performance to support Children’s Mental Health. HonoringVoice is a virtual storytelling platform empowering traumatized children to craft personalized narratives via avatars. It centers on three core concepts: embodied storytelling, distancing, and role-playing.

Additionally, I will introduce my forthcoming publications, including a journal article “Facing, Mirroring, and Echoing in Human Avatar Symbiosis,” for the Journal Technoetic Arts, and a book chapter “the Arts and Palliative Care and End of Life”, for the Routledge Handbook of Arts and Health.


Semi Ryu, a media artist, specializes in experimental 3D animations, Avatar, and Extended Reality projects inspired by Korean healing rituals. She is a full professor of Kinetic Imaging at VCU Arts and an associate professor of Internal Medicine at VCU Medicine (affiliate). Ryu earned a BFA from Korea National University of Arts, an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Ph.D. with the Highest Honor from Doctoral program in Humanities and Communication at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, with thesis “Embodied Avatar Performance, Han Healing Ritual and Life-Review: Intersections of Art, Health and Virtual Reality.” Ryu’s work is featured in 23 countries at international screenings, exhibitions, and performances. Her articles are published in top journals including International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, Journal of Palliative Medicine, and Arts & Health. She received the 2020 Hamilton International Arts in Health award (first place in Arts for Innovation) and VCU Arts Faculty Award for Distinguished Achievement in Research 2017, and has been featured at TEDxRVA, with her talk “Virtual Reality for Han”. Ryu has earned various grants, including VCU Presidential Quest Fund, VCU Breakthrough, NEH, NSF, and Commonwealth Cyber Initiative. For additional information, please visit