Technology brings art closer to life

By Yoon Min-sik

National Museum of Korea, Google collaborate for interactive pop-up museum

  • Published : Jul 11, 2017 - 17:23
  • Updated : Jul 11, 2017 - 17:23
A wall-sized version of a Joseon-era painting welcomes those setting foot in the Google pop-up museum at the National Museum of Korea.

But the painting has been magnified in unusually high definition, capturing details too minute for the human eye to capture.

Take a few more steps and you will come across “a museum view” of world landmarks -- a virtual reality viewer that creates an illusion of the user being in other places. 

Children use VR technology in a hands-on program at Google pop-up museum at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul. (Yonhap)
Children use VR technology in a hands-on program at Google pop-up museum at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul. (Yonhap)

You may have a chance to create an artwork yourself through the “Tilt Brush,” a 3-D painting VR application that allows you to draw on a virtual canvas.

The pop-up museum, jointly set up by the NMK and Google Arts & Culture, features a series of interactive activities that uses technology and hands-on programs to bring art closer to young visitors at the National Museum’s children’s museum.

The pop-up museum is part of Google Arts & Culture’s project across 70 countries -- involving 1,200 partners, 2,000 exhibitions and 6.4 million artifacts -- that uses the latest technology like VR, 360 degree cameras and high-definition imaging to enable visitors to virtually “experience” museums around the world.

According to Laurent Gaveau, who heads the cultural institute at Google, the goal of the team is to “act as a bridge between technology and art.”

The museum in Seoul consists of museum views, gigapixel photos of masterpieces in Korea and other interactive programs that will allow wide-eyed child visitors more enjoyable access to art.

Officials behind the project take particular pride in the museum view section, which allows the visitor to virtually “visit” not only museums, but also places like the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Paris Opera and even the Taj Mahal.

The street view-style imaging allows 360 degree views of the places, along with information and plans for the structure.

“Our studies with Google had shown that viewing the art pieces online first actually sparks the (visitors’) desire to actually view them in person, resulting in the number of visitors spiking in the museums that provide the museum view,” said an official from the National Museum of Korea.

Using this program, a class of students can leave on an “expedition” to famous places around the world, officials noted.

The gigapixel imaging also allows visitors to get much closer looks at artworks that are not so easily accessible by the public, such as the portrait of Lee Ha-eung -- father of King Gojong -- designated as a national treasure.

The pop-up museum is available to visitors of all ages free of charge, and will be held at the National Museum of Korea until Aug. 27.

By Yoon Min-sik