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Things about me.

Helen Kwok is a multimedia artist and designer who specialises in creating playful installations, experimental games, and public play activations.

Her creative practice often involves blending the digital and physical, playing with tangible and intangible materials, and crafting work that playfully extends beyond the screen. Helen is a first generation Hong Kong immigrant currently based in Naarm (Melbourne, Australia).

In 2020, Helen collaborated with Chad Toprak on Street Tape Games, a public art installation that allows the public to play socially-distanced street games. A direct response to COVID-19, and initially conceptualised as part of the Test Sites funded program, the duo received grants from Moreland City Council and City of Melbourne to further develop the project for presentation in 2021. She has also been commissioned by Bunjil Place, Moomba Festival, and Melbourne Knowledge Week to create a series of activations specifically designed with social distancing in mind. Helen also collaborated with Dr. Troy Innocent and the Moreland City Council in a playable cities project to reconnect people to the lived experience of Brunswick through urban play. In 2021, Helen was selected as one of four emerging artists nationwide (and the only Victorian artist) to participate in NAVA’s inaugural collaborative mentorship program.

Helen has spoken and showcased her work at festivals, conferences, and events both locally and internationally, including at IndieCade (Los Angeles, USA), A MAZE. (Berlin, Germany), Game Arts International Assembly (Montreal, Canada) and Freeplay Independent Games Festival (Melbourne, Australia). She was named a Freeplay Awards finalist in 2020 and 2021, and recently graduated from the Master of Animation, Games and Interactivity degree (with Distinction) from RMIT University. Throughout the two years of her Masters degree, Helen engaged in practice-based creative research for her studio projects, working at the intersection of art, design, games, and play.

Artist Talks

2021 – Beyond Screens: Alternative Controllers, IndieCade (Los Angeles, USA)

2021 – Game Arts International Assembly (Montreal, Canada)

2020 – Freeplay Parallels, Melbourne International Games Week (Melbourne, Australia)

2020 – Master of Animation, Games and Interactivity Guest Lecture, RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia)

2020 – A MAZE. Fest 2020 (Berlin, Germany)

2020 – Freeplay Independent Games Festival (Melbourne, Australia)

Commissions & Presentations

2021 – Street Tape Games – Freeplay Independent Games Festival, City of Melbourne

2021 – Street Tape Games – Fawkner Festa, Moreland City Council

2021 – Rainbow Paths – Mind the Gap Party, Assemble Papers

2021 – Rainbow Laneway – Moomba Festival 2.0, City of Melbourne

2021 – Rainbow Bird Playground – Bunjil Place, City of Casey

Exhibitions

2020-2021 – Connexions Videogames Exhibition (Strasbourg, France)

2020 – MAGI EXPO 2020 (Online)

2020 – Community Play Party: 10th Melbourne Global Game Jam (Melbourne, Australia)

2019 – MAGI EXPO 2019 (Melbourne, Australia)

2016 – AWARD School Showcase (Perth, Australia)

2015 – Make a Noise! Student Showcase (Perth, Australia)

Funding, Grants & Programs

2021 – Alchemy, State Library Victoria

2021 – Collaborative Mentorship Initiative Program, NAVA

2021 – Annual Arts Grants, City of Melbourne

2020-2021 – Festivals Moreland Development Program, Moreland City Council

2020 – Test Sites Online 2020, City of Melbourne

Awards

2021 – Finalist (Best Experimental Game Award), Freeplay Independent Games Festival

2020 – Vice-Chancellor’s List for Academic Excellence, RMIT University

2020 – Best Pitch Prize, Creative Urban Places Team, City of Melbourne

2020 – Finalist (Best Student Game Award), Freeplay Independent Games Festival

2018 – Finalist (Diamond Club Online Achievement Award), Western Australian Young Achiever Awards

2017 – Gold (Best Induction/Onboarding Project), LearnX Impact Awards

2016 – 3rd in WA, AWARD School

2015 – Top 15 Shortlist, Graphic Design Award by Yamaha