The 2nd Culture + Tech International Forum & The Palace Museum-Tencent Immersive Digital Experience Exhibition Opens in Shenzhen
The Palace Museum and Tencent held the Culture + Technology International Forum in Beijing in November 2017. Now, four years later, especially since the outbreak of COVID-19, what impacts and changes has technological advancement brought to cultural heritage and the museum sector? On December 15, 2021, the 2nd Culture + Technology International Forum was opened at Tencent Binhai Building in Shenzhen. It was co-hosted by the Palace Museum and Tencent, with support from the Digitalization Committee of the Chinese Museums Association and the Informatization Committee of China Cultural Relics Academy.
Under the theme of "Impact and Enlightenment: New Leaps in Digital Cultural Services," the forum aimed to promote the digitization of museums and the application and innovation of the latest technologies and discuss the development direction of culture and technology. More than 50 specialists and scholars from a variety of renowned museums, cultural and academic institutions, and tech companies at home and abroad gathered to discuss the future of museums in the digital era.
"The Forum aims to consolidate the advantageous resources of culture and technology, and build an international platform for cutting-edge academic exchange."
Director Wang Xudong of the Palace Museum, Deputy Mayor of Shenzhen Zhang Hua, Director-general Liu Shuguang of the Chinese Museums Association, Director Shahbaz Khan of the UNESCO Beijing Office, and Ren Yuxin, Chief Operating Officer of Tencent attended the meeting in person or via video link.
At the opening ceremony, Wang Xudong, Director of the Palace Museum, noted that, "The Forum aims to consolidate the advantageous resources of culture and technology, and build an international platform for cutting-edge academic exchange. In the digital era and in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, we should take a long-term view, re-examine the positioning and mission of museums, dig deeper into and reveal the multifaceted value of cultural heritage, breathe new life into it, and make feasible proposals for its creative transformation and innovative development."
Cheng Wu, Vice President of Tencent, CEO of China Literature Limited, said: "We joined hands with the Palace Museum in 2016 to apply digital technologies to museums for cultural heritage conservation. We have created such internet hits as A Singing Masterpiece, helping to bring traditional culture closer to the people, especially the younger generation. At the same time, we use the latest technologies to empower digital infrastructure for the digital collection of cultural relics, and have developed and launched the WeChat-based mini-program the "Digital Palace Museum" to make the cultural relics just one click away for visitors. Hence by means of content creation and the application of advanced technologies, we help Chinese museums cut out a path of innovation with Chinese characteristics, and contribute to global cultural heritage conservation and development of museums. This is also an important practice of 'Tech for Good,' one of the missions of Tencent."
Vice President of the International Council of Museums and heads of several famous museums at home and abroad delivered a series of keynote speeches.
The forum consists of three sessions which spanned two days: Panel 1 – Reverberation: Global Perspective on New Developments in Digital Culture–tracked the development of digital cultural services amid the COVID-19pandemic; Panel 2 – Invigoration: Digital Transformation of Traditional Culture–focused on the in-depth integration of traditional culture and digital technology; and the Panel 3 – Eruption: Integration and Elevation of Digital Cultural Services–presented real-life cases, explored the practical methods for marrying culture and technology, and discussed the overall development, efficiency improvement and ecosystem building of digital cultural services from multiple perspectives.
At the Greater Bay Area Salon, five guests from the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao SAR Government, the Palace Museum, the Guangdong Museum, the Hong Kong History Museum and Tencent were invited to exchange ideas about the region's cultural policy and development, cultural resources, and the talent exchange and cultivation in Hong Kong, Macao and the mainland (including the traditional cultural exchange events for youth in the region, and cultural talent training in Hong Kong, Macao and the mainland).
Meanwhile, the pattern-themed immersive digital experience exhibition, co-hosted by the Palace Museum and Tencent T-Museum was unveiled. This was the debut of the Palace Museum's ultra-high-definition "digital cultural relics" in Shenzhen, and some scenes of the Studio of Exhaustion from Diligent Service will be restored with the help of VR and AR technologies. In 2020, the Palace Museum worked with Tencent to show the beauty of the patterns of its collection by jointly launching the mini-program "Tour of the Cabinet of Curiosities." With the help of Tencent's immersive rendering, image search and surround sound technologies, the visitors can immerse themselves in the world of patterns displayed on heritage buildings and collections, and appreciate the beauty and wisdom behind them.
There are seven exhibition areas, where visitors can enjoy a 5.3-meter high naked-eye 3D display of "digital cultural relics" and high-definition images of artefacts that are magnified 22 times, and experience more than they could get from a physical cultural heritage exhibition. "Surprises" are also awaiting in the three-dimensional space. At the 10 specially designed photogenic locations, visitors are invited to a stroll in the Palace Museum through the four seasons and take photos to record the beauty.
The exhibition, held at the Shekou Sea World Culture and Art Center, is open to the public free of charge from December 18, 2021 to February 12, 2022. Reservation can be made via the Digital Palace Museum mini-program.