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Semi Ryu

Professor, Department of Kinetic Imaging, School of the Arts

Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine (Affiliate)

Affiliated Faculty, MATX (Media, Art and Text PhD program), College of Humanities and Sciences

Department of Kinetic Imaging

Semi Ryu is a full professor of Kinetic Imaging, VCU Arts, and an associate professor of Internal Medicine, VCU School of Medicine (affilate). Since 2002, Ryu has explored the psychological relationship between physical and virtual bodies, based on Korean rituals and oral storytelling. Her 3D animations, VR interactive artworks and papers have been presented at international venues of screenings, exhibitions, performances and publications in 23 countries, including the Chelsea Art Museum, New York; Transmediale, Berlin; Anncey Animation Festival, France; VideoBrasil, Sao Paulo; ISEA, Sydney; Red Gate Gallery, Beijing; Museum of Modern Art, Mexico; De Balie, Amsterdam; SIGGRAPH, LA; and in the book “The Point of Being (Cambridge Scholars).”

In 2014, her transdiciplinary project “VoicingElder: Improving Quality of Life for Older Adults with Avatar Life-Review” won VCU Presidential Research Quest Fund and has been presented in International venues of art, gerontology, drama therapy and HCI.  Since 2018, she has worked on VoicingHan: Avatar Life-Review for Palliative Care, funded by Massey Cancer Center, in collaboration with Dr. Egidio del Fabbro and Dr. Danielle Noreika. Her new project is HonoringVoice: Avatar storytelling Platform for people with traumatic memory at the Virginia Treatment Center for Children. She is the recipient of VCU arts faculty award of distinguished achievement in research, the first place winner of Hamilton International Arts in Health award 2020 (Arts for Innovation), a nominee for the Vilcek-Gold award for humanism in healthcare 2020, and has been featured at TEDxRVA, with her talk “Virtual Reality for Han”. Ryu is a doctoral candidate in the Humanaties and Commnication at UOC, Barcelona, and earned her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University and her BFA from the Korean National University of Arts.

Recent Work

Performing Virtual Bodies

International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media Jun. 16 2020

Feasibility of Delivering Avatar Facilitated Life-review Intervention for Patient with Cancer

Co-authored with Malisa Dang, Egidio del Fabbro, Danielle Noreika
Journal of Palliative Medicine Sep. 2020

Embodied Storytelling and Meaning-Making at the End of Life

Co-authored with Sarah Price, Associate dean, Social Work
Arts & Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice 2021
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