Thursday, August 18, 2011
Chinese Buddhist cave temple exhibition uses 3D technology to create virtual art show
Through video and still images, visitors will see the sculptures as they once appeared in their original locations inside the caves.
At an exhibit called Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan at the Meadows Museum at SMU, visitors can experience ancient caves through 3D technology. The exhibition, which runs September 11, 2011, through January 8, 2012, uses "hundreds of overlapping scans" to create a life-sized, virtual cave. It sounds fascinating.
Here's the entire explanation, sent by the Meadows Museum:
An upcoming exhibit at SMU’s Meadows Museum will use 3-D technology to virtually restore a majestic sixth-century Chinese Buddhist cave temple. Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan will include a video immersion into one of the largest stone temples carved into the mountains of northern China. The exhibit also includes ancient sculptural masterpieces from the caves.
The 11 Buddhist cave temples in China’s Hebei Province represent the most significant artistic achievement of the short-lived Northern Qi dynasty (550-577). The manmade caves of Xiangtangshan (prounounced shahng-tahng-shahn) once featured large-scaleBuddhas, divine attendant figures and crouching monsters carved into the cave walls and sculpted from quarried stone that was set into place. When the remote caves were rediscovered in the early 20th century, however, many of the sculptures and carvings had been removed and sold to dealers, collectors and museums. This exhibition, compiled from collections around the world, represents the first time the sculptures and carvings have been shown together.
An additional 100 items from the caves, now in institutions and collections worldwide, have been digitally captured with hundreds of overlapping scans to create the life-sized virtual cave that is the centerpiece of the exhibit. Through video and still images, visitors will see the sculptures as they once appeared in their original locations inside the caves.
Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan is organized by the Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Major funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Leon Levy Foundation, the Smart Family Foundation, and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. The catalogue was made possible by Fred Eychaner and Tommy Yang Guo, with additional support from Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund.
Additional support for the Meadows Museum's presentation is generously provided by The Meadows Foundation.
The exhibition is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Source: Meadows Museum
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