Ancient myths go high-tech

A new show introduces China's ancient myths through the use of modern technology to help keep them alive.

The annals of Greek mythology are rife with stories about gods and heroes dying, loving, warring and performing superhuman feats.

In China most people are familiar with myths like “Chang’e Flying to the Moon” or “Nuwa Mending the Heaven.” But many other old legends seem to be fading.

Now a new move is underway to revive the color and imagination of our ancient myths.

“The Chinese Creation Myths – the Internet Art Exhibition,” going on at the Liu Haisu Art Museum, is such an example.

Curated by museum director Zhu Gang, the exhibition tries to reflect the stories of Chinese myths through advanced Internet technology such as augmented reality, virtual reality and 3D printing.

“The myths are considered the essence of Chinese traditional culture, and it is even the origin of China’s civilization,” Zhu says. “In my eyes, they are the roots and soul of the nation.”

But today, many Chinese myths are fading away.

“It is estimated that the number of Chinese Internet surfers reached 751 million by June 2017, “ Zhu says. “So we wanted to ignite their interest through new visual means.”

For example, the multimedia installation titled “Strange Creatures of the Classic of Mountains and Rivers” fuses history with the imagination of the artist himself.

The work not only conjures up the image of strange creatures but also creates a special voice for them. If a visitor wants to hear a roar from the ancient era, just touch the button on the screen.

“Some people asked me how many artists participated in this exhibition, I can’t actually give an answer,” Zhu says, “because there are many behind a single piece of work. There is a whole team supporting many multimedia projects including different staff in research, recording and technology.

“We just want to show the best visual effect so people can experience both modern technology and traditional culture,” Zhu adds.

Exhibition details

Date: Through January 14 (closed on Mondays), 9am-5pm

Venue: Liu Haisu Art Museum

Address: 1609 Yan’an Rd W.

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