The Lockdown

Mana Saei

The Lockdown is a 3D virtual art gallery recalling online COVID-19 era experiences told through interactive sound and visuals. The project weaves together stories told from my perspective as an Iranian woman living in Canada, with knowledge about the symbolic patterns of historical Persian carpets. As objects representing the home space, carpets have witnessed the challenges and emotions of people, information about the global pandemic, and memories of those stay-at-home days. Visitors to the gallery can visually explore the images of the carpets, and hear a layering of voices in English and Farsi telling stories of the era blended with field recordings from Vancouver. This virtual space with its carpets and their associated vocals depict two cultures separated by distance, and how they are brought together online in this moment.

Read more about this project and the process here.

Four different views of the gallery from user’s perspective.


Voice Actors (alphabetically): Julie Andreyev, Anonymous, Peter Bussigel, Jenny Kim, Maria 

Lantin, Jae Lew, Zohreh Rouhfar, Saman Saei 

Mentors: Julie Andreyev, Maria Lantin, Peter Bussigel

Consultant about Persian carpets: Zohreh Rouhfar

Technical consultants: Ahmad Lashgar, Sean Arden

Trailer (Watch in full HD)

Couple of Ambisonic field recordings for this project


Room 1
Room 2
Room 3
Room 4
Room 5
Room 6
Room 6

Award Recipient

  • Basically Good Media Lab Graduation Award

Mana Saei

I'm seeking opportunities
Contact Me
Mana Saei is an emerging New Media and Sound artist based in Vancouver, BC. She graduated from Emily Carr University (ECUAD) in May 2021 with an outstanding GPA. Mana holds a degree in Physics as well. Mana‘s practice includes exploring new approaches to virtual reality and audio visual installations to raise public awareness about critical global issues. Since 2017 she has been having solo installations such as Fall (VR video with binaural sound about climate change), Forest (sonic painting about wildlife), Solitude (interactive audio visual installation about the age of Covid), and etc. Her grad project, The Lockdown, is an interactive virtual sound and visual installation about the lockdown days in Iran and Canada. Mana has also been collaborating in many different projects as a Research Assistant, Sound Designer, Production Assistant and Producer. Dami and Falian VR animation video (premiered at VIFF Immersed 2019), Unceded Chiefs VR project (was on display through VR headsets at VIWFF 2020) and Wild Empathy project (exhibited at Science World Vancouver) are some of these projects.
Profile image of Mana Saei