The Palace Museum and Phoenix Satellite Television jointly launch a modern exhibition
On the occasion of the 42nd International Museum Day on May 18, the launch of a hightech interactive art exhibition based on the ancient Chinese painting Life along the Bian
River at the Pure Brightness Festival ( Qingming Shang He
Tu) took place at the Archery Pavilion (Jian ting) in the Palace Museum, showcasing to audiences a different perspective of the ancient painting.
The exhibition, as the result of a collaboration between the Palace Museum and Phoenix Satellite Television, is an innovative exploration of a masterpiece by means of digital technology, retaining the vivid scenes of the painting created by the painter Zhang Zeduan during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). Visitors can make reservations on the Palace Museum’s official website to experience this exhibition for free following an initial trial period. The exhibition will run until October 18.
The initiative of this exhibition is to integrate the masterpiece of the museum’s collection into digital form to reach out to more audiences via new methods of exhibition and expression. The national treasure
Life along the Bian River at the Pure Brightness Festival is also one of the most significant of all the 1.86 million items in the Palace Museum’s collection and is one of the best-known works of ancient Chinese art worldwide. The painting, an artistic embodiment of prosperous urban life during the Northern Song Dynasty, is renowned for its faithful depiction of boats, bridges, shops and scenery. The unique methods adopted in the exhibition bring this historical work to life by connecting the past with the present, aiming to empower this ancient piece with a modern twist that can make it more appealing for a wider audience who wish to understand Chinese culture.
Visitors will be able to perceive the vividness of traditional Chinese culture through a rich interactive experience that is made possible by state of the art visual tools such as 8K Ultra HD digital interactive technology and 4D motion imaging. The exhibition itself, covering about 1,600 square meters of the Archery Pavilion of the Palace Museum, is divided into four parts: a digital edition of the original artwork, the Sun Yangdian Interactive Theater Space, a Hong Qiao fulldome cinema and a Song Dynasty cultural area. Audiences will find themselves entering into the painting and experiencing life in the capital city of Bianjing while taking a boat across the Bian River.
Over the past two years, experts from across the fields of art and culture have worked together to provide audiences with a true-to-life experience of China’s dynastic period and enable them to feel closer to traditional culture by stimulating their interest in cultural relics. “In the 22 years since the establishment of Phoenix Satellite Television, the broadcaster has inherited and displayed Chinese culture, boosting cultural confidence,” Liu Changle, chair and CEO of Phoenix TV, said at the launch. “This exhibition serves people’s need for more diversified forms of entertainment, and thus integration of culture, art and technology can enhance young people’s enthusiasm for Chinese civilization. Once its run in Beijing comes to an end, the exhibition will go on tour to other countries around the world. We hope this technologyinspired display can promote the artwork as a symbol of Chinese culture to the international community. That’s what Phoenix TV and the Palace Museum understand the meaning of cultural communication to be.”
Curator of the Palace Museum Shan Jixiang also expressed his joy that the project has come to fruition. Shan said that while the fusion of culture and technology is a common topic, this exhibition is seminal in successfully realizing such an integration. This display not only retains the original aesthetic value of the work but also allows the audience to walk into one of China’s cultural relics and experience the culture firsthand.“The museum originated as an important vehicle for enriching people’s cultural life and a place of cultural exchange. In our global and interconnected world, the modern museum must embrace change and innovation, reaching a wider audience by looking for new methods and technology through which it can display and curate,” Shan said.
Main: Liu Changle (middle) and Shan Jixiang (right) attend the exhibition. Inset: Liu Changle gives an opening speech at the launch.