- American fast food company McDonald’s created a Virtual Reality (VR) Zodiac space to showcase the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac.
- Designer Humberto Leon, a co-founder of street fashion brand Opening Ceremony, collaborated with McDonald’s and talked to NextShark about what the experience meant to him.
- “The exciting thing about being Asian American is that we really get to bring our Asian culture to the American landscape, and that’s what makes us American.”
- The exhibition is open Jan. 31-Feb. 15, 2022 for the entirety of the two-week Lunar New Year celebrations.
McDonald’s collaborated with designer Humberto Leon, a co-founder of street fashion brand Opening Ceremony, to design a virtual reality hall of Chinese Zodiac signs.
The fully virtual exhibition showcases the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. Visitors to the space can explore each sign, the birth years of that sign, as well as their fortune for the year. In conversation with NextShark, Leon explained the ways visitors can interact with the space.
“If you walk up to each zodiac sign, it talks about the virtue and what each sign means, and you can actually download yours and your own personal horoscope,” explained Leon.
The gallery is draped in celebratory reds and yellows, and features a prominent tiger in the center for the Year of the Tiger. Leon said he wanted to make it “joyful, colorful, and fun.”
“I was blown away by how gorgeous we were able to make it. We worked with a feng shui master to tell us all the elements the gallery needed,” said Leon.
Leon said that he was excited to share the holiday, which he cherished celebrating as a child, with a wider audience. “Right now, the holiday in itself is a global holiday, and it’s recognized by everyone around the world. It’s super exciting to be able to share this once-private thing,” he said.
He believes that this is an important part of the fabric of the Asian American experience. “The exciting thing about being Asian American is that we really get to bring our Asian culture to the American landscape, and that’s what makes us American.”
Leon, who was born to a Peruvian father and Chinse mother, said working with McDonald’s reminded him of his immigrant childhood. “It was a dream come true for myself to work with McDonald’s, because I feel like it’s the quintessential pop culture brand.”
“Now anyone in the world can just go on and visit it, it feels like what McDonald’s represents, which is this democratic approach.”
The exhibition is open Jan. 31-Feb. 15, 2022 for the entirety of the two-week Lunar New Year celebrations and can be accessed here.
All Images via McDonald’s