Palace museum to involve public in art through VR

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Jun 11, 2017 - Page 3

The Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Palace Museum yesterday invited people to test a new virtual reality (VR) application that lets users view classic works by donning a helmet, in hopes of stimulating public interest in the arts.

Many outstanding liberal arts research projects go unnoticed because they are too obscure and fail to connect with people, Minister Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) said, adding that the ministry hopes to change that through a new series of lectures that incorporate technology to make art more accessible to the public.

“Throughout the history of civilization, liberal arts have played an important role,” Chen said.

People should devote more time to reading history and spend less time reading tabloid news, he said.

The “riddle” embedded in a work of art is the essence of classic art, former museum director Shih Shou-chien (石守謙) said.

Works like Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Antoine Watteau’s Pierrot and An Gyeon’s Dream Journey to the Peach Blossom Land contain unfathomable riddles and continue to enchant viewers of all generations, he said.

An established art historian, Shih showed he is no stranger to popular dramas by drawing examples from the South Korean drama Seimdang, Memoir of Colors and the French film What My Eyes Have Seen.

Classics often find renewed representation in contemporary art forms, he said.

The museum provided VR equipment that allowed viewers to explore traditional ink paintings in its collection.

Using the equipment, people were able to enter works of art, brushing past the trees and mountains in the ancient landscapes they depict.

The VR facilities were installed last year, but they are not generally open to the public, said Lin Chih-yen (林致諺), a specialist at the museum’s Department of Education, Exhibition and Information Services.

He said it would be challenging to manage the use of VR facilities by regular visitors.

However, the museum is looking to launch the application on HTC Corp’s online platform, Viveport, he said.