Protected: Taking a Boat to the Past: The Grand Canal of China – The Wuxi Grand Canal 3D Digital Museum

Erica Lee, Bright Ideas Design Co., Ltd., Taiwan, Fang-yin Lin, Bright Ideas Design Co., Ltd., Taiwan

The purpose of this project is to use methods combining digital technology and new media arts to interpret and present a story to recreate one of the greatest yet lesser known cultural assets of the world—China’s Grand Canal. As such, “Four Great Views” have been designed from a modern perspective to present an experiential exhibit to explore the Grand Canal over the course of its more than two millennia of history. The first one is “View from the Heavens,” which takes a bird’s-eye view of the landscape to see how canals changed the course of China’s history and offers a comparison with other famous canals around the world to present a wider global perspective. The next one is “View of the Waters,” showing how water gave birth to civilization and probing the beauty of art and canal culture that emerged as a result of exchange along the north-south canal system in China. The following one is “View of the People,” in which various figures in history tell their stories in painting, drama, poetry, and literature related to the connection between people and canals. And finally there is “View of Gardens,” in which the use of water in gardens shows how the exchange of goods on canals also led to the influence of gardens in the north and south. Combined with the unique artistic culture of Wuxi, such as Huishan clay dolls, kilns, silk production, and tea utensils, new life can be injected into the traditional arts of this area.
Recreating the Grand Canal using modern digital techniques in this project offers audiences a vicarious boat trip in time and place, traveling back to the culture of the Grand Canal that gave birth to much of China’s cultural achievements and integrating with modern interactive technology.

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