Across China: Online exhibitions cater to China's armchair museumgoers

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-19 13:56:18|Editor: Lu Hui
Video PlayerClose

XI'AN, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Li Bin, an avid museumgoer in the northwestern Chinese city of Xi'an, has never had a better view of the fabrics of a chair in the Palace Museum in Beijing.

Sitting comfortably at home and putting on a device featuring Virtual Reality (VR) technology, Li toured the museum through its online exhibition program, getting an eyeful of the precious exhibits presented in the crystal-clear 3D view.

"During a field visit to the Palace Museum, it is tough to visit some hidden places and view all the palace decorations in detail," said Li. "VR technology has made these experiences possible."

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, many museums and galleries in China have been closed to visitors to prevent the spread of the epidemic. But they have launched or repackaged various online exhibitions to provide a satisfactory touring experience for the country's vast number of stay-at-home visitors.

In southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, the Chongqing China Three Gorges Museum (CCTGM) and the Chongqing Natural History Museum were among those bringing exhibitions online.

Visitors could find audio guides to more than 30 exhibitions and videos on 10 others through CCTGM's official account on WeChat during their virtual tours in online exhibition halls.

Shanxi Museum, which houses over 400,000 artifacts, is offering online tours through various platforms, including its website, WeChat account, and microblogging service Weibo.

"We have repackaged our online resources and provide them with viewers," said Ren Xiaojing, an IT official with the museum. "While viewing exhibitions online, visitors can learn a lot of background knowledge. It's not a bad way to visit the museum from home."

An online exhibition of paintings from the Ming and Qing dynasties has attracted hundreds of thousands of views on the museum's Weibo account.

The paintings are exhibited in the form of a high-definition photo album and with detailed captions, said Ren, adding that "it is even more clear to view the paintings online than in person."

Advanced digital technologies such as VR and Augmented Reality have played a significant role in bringing exhibitions to online visitors in a more vivid and interactive manner.

The Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum in Xi'an has provided online viewers with a 50-billion-pixel panoramic picture of a terra cotta warriors pit by collaging 2,000 high-pixel images.

Using facial recognition technology, the museum is also offering an online interactive game that can tell which Terracotta warrior bears the most resemblance of the viewer.

After visiting the museum online, visitor Zhang Yao said, "when the epidemic is over, I will go to Xi'an to visit the museum in person to make my tour more complete."