NPM x KMFA: New Horizons—New Media Art Exhibition is co-organized by the National Palace Museum and the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts and continues the NPM’s long-time effort to meld the humanities and innovative technology. This exhibition breaks the barriers of physical exhibitions and presents diversified perspectives by crossing artistic and technological disciplines. Through the interpretation of new media art and the curatorial discourses of the two museums, the exhibition renders the rich cultural heritage of the National Palace Museum in a new light and offers audiences a brand new aesthetic experience.
The exhibition takes its imagery from the ancient literary event famously recorded in Wang Hsi-chih's Orchid Pavilion Preface, the foremost running calligraphy in the world, and attempts to create the poetic ambience of a contemporary literary gathering by interweaving the Original Dingwu Copy of the Orchid Pavilion Preface housed at the NPM into its framework. Two new installations, "Into the Painting" and "Through the Boundless Desert," also make their debut in this exhibition. Inspired by Guo Xi’s Early Spring from the NPM’s masterpiece collection, "Into the Painting" recreates the majestic vitality of classical Chinese landscapes and its aesthetic capacity "to amble, to behold, to wander, and to abide." "Through the Boundless Desert" combines haptic interactive technology and voice-activated technology to render the story of Kublai Khan and his entourage on their way to the hunting grounds in the Gobi desert. With this installation, audiences can experience the noble pastime of hunting with trained hawks and leopards in the boundless deserts of yore.
In addition, several of the works on view have won international accolades, such as the American Alliance of Museums’ Muse Awards and Worldfest Houston International Film and Video Festival’s Remi Awards. The immersive generative artwork "Plum Blossoms in the Moonlight," for example, presents a surreal plum field that combines the NPM’s antiquity collection with literary texts and brings to life the elegant splendor of the museum’s ancient flower vessels. "The Spirit of Autobiography" is the world’s first calligraphy virtual reality experience and reinterprets the speed and vigor of the wild cursive script in Autobiography through contemporary dance. Audiences can also practice their calligraphy with a virtual brush and experience the beauty of wild cursive script. In the VR experience "Roaming through Fantasy Land", audiences can explore the blue-and-green landscape of the literati painting Autumn Colors in the Qiao and Hua Mountains and partake in the profound friendship that spurred the artist to create this painting. In the section "the Literary Art of Writing", the celebrated works of Northern Song dynasty calligraphists Su Shi and Huang Ting-chien are illuminated and transformed into large scale video installations. The former demonstrates the dramatic interplay between the fluctuating emotions in Su Shi’s Cold Food Observance and the rhythmic and expressive variations of his brush. The latter animates Huang Ting-chien’s mischievous response to his friend’s request for his poetry in the work Besotted by Flower Vapors. Through the augmented reality program “Stamps of Landscape,” audience members are able to create their own ancient landscapes by rearranging the digital elements on the screen. “A Haven for Literary Gatherings” displays an interactive table containing several masterpieces from the museum’s collection and lets visitors experience the pleasures of participating in ancient literary gatherings. The “Classical Theater Pavilion” features a selection of films introducing the museum’s masterpieces, the artists’ backgrounds and the artistic conception of the artworks, and enables audiences to view the exquisite details and craftsmanship of the artifacts through high-resolution technology.
Through multi-sensory, co-creative, immersive displays and virtual reality experiences, visitors are now able to interact with museums and view the artifacts in ways never before thought possible. For this exhibition, the NPM and KMFA join hands to usher in new forms of expression and education for museums, hoping to facilitate more dialogue and interaction between the audience and the ancient artworks and to open up new horizons for future museum collaborations.