Mu­seum on screen

China Daily European Weekly - - China News - By ZHANG KUN in Shang­hai and WANG KAIHAO in Bei­jing Con­tact the writ­ers through zhangkun@chi­nadaily.com.cn.

New tech­nolo­gies that con­nect mu­se­ums with the pub­lic were an­nounced at a celebration of In­ter­na­tional Mu­seum Day in Shang­hai on May 18.

The In­ter­na­tional Coun­cil of Mu­se­ums es­tab­lished In­ter­na­tional Mu­seum Day in 1977 as an an­nual event to ad­dress the role of mu­se­ums in the de­vel­op­ment of so­ci­ety. This year, the coun­cil chose the theme “Hyper­con­nected mu­se­ums: New ap­proaches, new publics” for the an­nual event.

In­ter­na­tional Mu­seum Day has inspired mu­se­ums around the world to host col­or­ful events and at­tract more peo­ple to visit and have close con­tact with cul­tural her­itage, said Guan Qiang, deputy di­rec­tor of China’s State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cul­tural Her­itage, at the launch of the celebration at the Shang­hai His­tory Mu­seum.

Since 2009, the State ad­min­is­tra­tion has joined hands with a provin­cial ad­min­is­tra­tion each year to host the na­tional celebration.

“Through the past nine years, we have wit­nessed a leap­ing de­vel­op­ment of China’s mu­seum in­dus­try, which re­flects the eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment of China,” said Guan.

This year, Shang­hai was the host for the first time. More than 100 mu­se­ums in the city par­tic­i­pated in the celebration by open­ing free of charge, or with tick­ets at half price, for three days.

At the open­ing con­fer­ence, a se­ries of ini­tia­tives was launched to more closely con­nect mu­se­ums around the coun­try with the pub­lic.

The new part­ner­ships of the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cul­tural Her­itage with Baidu and China Mo­bile will help peo­ple in China to find lo­ca­tions of mu­se­ums, plan their vis­its with elec­tronic maps us­ing mo­bile in­ter­net, and en­joy an in­stant dig­i­tal tour guide, thanks to tech­nol­ogy from Baidu.

Baidu has helped 2,894 mu­se­ums na­tion­wide to build a dig­i­tal map­ping ser­vice, ac­cord­ing to Xiang Hai­long, pres­i­dent of Baidu Search Co.

Chen Kai, a sci­en­tist with Baidu, told an in­ter­na­tional fo­rum en­ti­tled “Mu­seum and the Beau­ti­ful Life” in Shang­hai on May 18 that the com­pany will use the world’s lead­ing map­ping knowl­edge do­mains, pre­cise 3D aug­mented-re­al­ity model­ing and other tech­nolo­gies to help China’s mu­se­ums build dig­i­tal ser­vices and re­al­ize dig­i­ti­za­tion of their col­lec­tions “to play an ac­tive part in the con­struc­tion of a web ma­trix for the pro­mo­tion of Chi­nese civ­i­liza­tion”.

The State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cul­tural Her­itage an­nounced the launch of a global pro­mo­tion of the 100-episode CCTV doc­u­men­tary Ev­ery Trea­sure Tells a Story. The show, whose episodes last no more than five min­utes, has won high ac­claim from au­di­ences for its new per­spec­tive on great achieve­ments of Chi­nese civ­i­liza­tion.

Many ac­tiv­i­ties that mixed tech­nol­ogy and mu­seum ex­hi­bi­tions were also held na­tion­wide to mark In­ter­na­tional Mu­seum Day.

In the Palace Mu­seum in Bei­jing, also known as the For­bid­den City, the cur­tain was raised on May 18 on an in­ter­ac­tive dig­i­tal dis­play of a mas­ter­piece, the scroll paint­ing

Along the River Dur­ing the Qing­ming

Fes­ti­val by 12th-cen­tury painter Zhang Ze­d­uan. The paint­ing, now housed in the Palace Mu­seum and one of the best-known an­cient Chi­nese paint­ings, is a panoramic por­trayal of flour­ish­ing ur­ban life in Bian­liang (today’s Kaifeng, He­nan prov­ince), which was the cap­i­tal of the Northern Song pe­riod (9601127).

In the new ex­hi­bi­tion, which makes fig­ures in the paint­ing move like an­i­ma­tion, in­ter­ac­tive facilities also en­able vis­i­tors to take a virtual boat ride along the “river” to be­come im­mersed in the scene, and to say hello to “passers-by” from Northern Song, thanks to dome-cin­ema tech­nol­ogy.

“Mu­se­ums need cre­ative ap­proaches to ex­plain our his­tory to our young gen­er­a­tion,” says Shan Jix­i­ang, di­rec­tor of the Palace Mu­seum. “In the con­text of ‘hy­per­con­nec­tion’, more such crossovers be­tween high tech­nol­ogy and mu­se­ums should fol­low to get na­tional trea­sures linked with the pub­lic.”

Shan says the dig­i­tal dis­play, which was co-cre­ated by the mu­seum and Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV, will tour over­seas in the fu­ture.

WANG JING / CHINA DAILY

A vis­i­tor to the Palace Mu­seum in Bei­jing takes a pic­ture on May 18 of the dig­i­tal dis­play of the scroll paint­ing Alongth­eRiverDur­ingth­eQing­mingFes­ti­val.

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