Altar-n8 Realm

Outdoor Augmented Reality Art Tour
San Francisco, Chinatown
Exhibition On View: May 30, 2021 - August 31, 2021

The Altar-n8 Realm Project was an outdoor augmented reality (AR) art exhibition in support of small businesses in San Francisco’s Chinatown, honoring our ancestors through virtual offerings of food, prayer, and reflection. Viewers were welcome to experience the exhibition as an interactive walking art tour of SF Chinatown using smartphones. In response to the global pandemic and the current hate crimes against Asian Americans, Altar-n8 Realm fostered recovery, resilience, and regeneration in the Chinatown community, by utilizing interactive technology as a form of storytelling, uplifting Chinatown voices in support of small businesses. Inspired by the Qingming Festival traditions, Altar-n8 Realm poses the question, “how can offerings form a spiritual bond between our ancestors and our present self?”

The Altar-n8 Realm Project debuted at the 24th Annual United States of Asia America Festival: Forging Our Futures, presented in partnership with the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center in 2021. This project featured conversational interviews with five Chinatown-based small businesses, Chinatown Kite Shop, Li Ly’s Hair Salon, Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, Little Paris, and Washington Bakery and Restaurant.

Macro Waves members, Anum Awan, Dominic Cheng, Robin Birdd David, and Jeffrey Yip, in collaboration with artists Alice Yuan Zhang and Qianqian Ye created AR art altar installations inspired by conversations with each business owner. In collaboration with Broad Target, The Altar-n8 Realm Project released a mini-documentary series examining the diverse lived experiences of these five Chinatown business owners and their journey before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Recorded Video Tour

Altar-n8 Realm is an exhibition that brings the physical into the virtual world, providing a safe space for viewers to experience art outdoors and online. For those who cannot make the outdoor experience, we will be offering an online video recording of the AR experience.

︎ Access Augmented Reality Altars 

Documentary Release

Collaborators Broad Target directed a mini-documentary series highlighting the story of each particpating business and their relationship the rituals and traditions of Qingming Festival.

︎ Access Documentary Videos

✨️ Collaborators & Contributors ✨️

Altar-n8 reimagines the art experience as a way to build community through technology, meaningful collaboration, and direct support towards a sustainable future for our communities. We partnered up with other BIPOC artists, designers and creative technologist to created AR art altar installations inspired by conversations with a diverse community of Chinatown-based small businesses.

✨️Make a donation to the project ✨️

This project was funded by a small project grant and created with time and energy donated from our members and our collaborators. Please consider supporting the artists and small businesses involved in this project by visiting our Gofundme page.

Donations over $50 will be given a limited edition Altar-n8 Realm Zine that documents the AR exhibition.
For more informaiton about the project, please check out our Press Release.

© Macro Waves Est. 2015