An installation that presents
the most precious exhibit of the museum
a scroll titled “Pacifying the South China Sea”
The history of Hong Kong – similarly to the whole Chinese history – is inseparably associated with the sea. Hong Kong Maritime Museum is one of the post prestigious museums of China, presenting the struggles of the Chinese against the sea. Among many exhibits a focus of attention is a historic scroll titled “Pacifying the South China Sea”. To bring the masterpiece closer to the visitors we added multimedia features to present it on a 360° screen. They spring the scroll to live with unique animations and sound effects. Considering the scale of the project and a unique character of the exhibit we worked closely with several foreign companies and as well as Chinese cultural units. The modern techniques and exemplary cooperation resulted in eliminating the display limits and made the scroll available to hundreds of visitors.
What makes the stroll unique is not only the artistry, but also its enormous size and wide range of presented issues. The scroll is over 200 years old, 18 meters (60 feet) long and presents 20 combat and social scenes form the history of shipping on the South China Sea. Paradoxically, the size made it difficult to present the scroll to a bigger audience. Due to its age and fragility a large number of visitors would make an impact on its condition. Taking into consideration all these factors we proposed modern solutions that took the exhibit into new dimension and allowed to bring the history closer.
To exhibit the scroll we prepared in Quazar3D a multimedia, cylindrical installation, accessible to up to 30 people at once. The scenes of the scroll came to life on a spherical screen in colorful animations enhanced by sound effects. The clash of weapons, waves blasting the sterns of the ships, whistling wind, cries of soldiers and the voice of the lector explaining these complex events – all of the above take the visitor into the world of adventures created by an unknown artist over 200 years ago.
Each of the 20 scenes was animated using Quazar3D software and presented as close-ups, thus enlarging elaborate details and markings not registered during a traditional display of the scroll. We used modern digital techniques to recreate the effect of an old print – to create the impression of contact with the original exhibit, not its animated version. Solutions applied during the process resulted in the viewer experiencing the scroll on a whole new level, using all senses. The exhibit – previously appreciated exclusively by the museum staff and history enthusiasts – was given a second life, charming the visitor with its textures and the colorful history of China.