Building on the success of the "River of Wisdom - Animated Version of the Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival" held in 2010, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) has taken another step forward to produce its first mega exhibition combining history and technology – "The Majesty of All Under Heaven: The Eternal Realm of China's First Emperor". Thanks to generous sponsorship from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the LCSD has spent more than $10m using cutting edge technology to produce six innovative multimedia programmes to tie-in with the exhibition, enhancing its educational aspects while also making it a fun experience for all.
One hundred and twenty valuable relics have been brought to Hong Kong for the exhibition. Experts from the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Center, Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum and the Fengxiang County Museum, Baoji City, along with the curatorial team of the Hong Kong Museum of History, have begun the work of mounting the relics. The Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung, paid a visit to the museum today (July 12) to learn more about the work's progress.
Running from July 25 to November 26 at the Hong Kong Museum of History, "The Majesty of All under Heaven: The Eternal Realm of China's First Emperor" is the largest thematic exhibition the museum has undertaken since its establishment. Occupying an area of 1,850 square metres, the exhibition is divided into two sections – the Multimedia Experience Zone and the Cultural Relics Display Zone. The Multimedia Experience Zone occupies an area of 850 square metres.
Speaking at a media briefing today, Mrs Fung said that the Hong Kong Museum of History had spent more than a year developing the design concepts of the six multimedia programmes for the exhibition. Comprising "The Qin and their Horses", "Discovery of the Underground Kingdom", "True Colours of the Terracotta Warriors", "Secrets of the Terracotta Army", "Journey into the Mausoleum of Qin Shihuang" and "Terracotta Warrior Workshop", the multimedia programmes take a light approach in explaining the deep-rooted history, culture and stories behind the terracotta figures.
Mrs Fung noted that this large-scale multimedia production is characterised by three main features – a breakthrough in the application of technology, an enhancement in exhibition contents and interaction, and close observation of historical research and archaeological information.
"Journey into the Mausoleum of Qin Shihuang" represents one of the production highlights, with highly impressive visual and audio effects. Making use of 32 projectors to create a seamless screen by geometric correction, this programme produces a spectacular panoramic projection of the Qin terracotta army with a viewing resolution greater than 6000 x 4600 pixels, equaling the standard in IMAX cinemas and giving visitors a genuine impression of time travel.
Mrs Fung said that stepping into the mega panoramic projection will give visitors the "virtual" experience of travelling back 2,200 years in time, where they will find themselves at the foot of Mount Li and the Mausoleum of Qinshihuang, and enabling them to witness the construction of the terracotta army pits, as well as its destruction, discovery and restoration.
"Especially noteworthy is the application for the first time in Hong Kong and in museums locally of the huge seamless projection image that can provide a surrounding projection effect," she said.
Differing from previous exhibitions on the Qin terracotta army that focused mainly on the historical significance of the relics, she said the current exhibition uses multimedia technology to provide a vivid and more comprehensive presentation of the history of the Qin from its rise to the establishment of a united empire.
Mrs Fung added that the "River of Wisdom - Animated Version of the Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival" exhibition gave visitors a static viewing experience while the current exhibition, strengthened with interactive exhibits, will deliver greater visual entertainment. She believed that the Multimedia Experience Zone will provide visitors with a brand new experience.
The Hong Kong Museum of History has made close observation of historical and archaeological details to ensure the accuracy of the production. "The Qin and their Horses", for example, is the first exhibition programme to tell the Qin's history through their horses. In addition to depicting the historical development of Qin, important details such as the types and postures of horses, chariot formations, the equipment worn by Qin warriors and even the axles and spokes of wheels have all been reconstructed based on empirical evidence from objects that have been excavated.
Mrs Fung added that the museum has invited Professor Duan Qing-po from the School of Cultural Heritage, Northwest University (USA), to be the principal academic advisor of the exhibition and to provide his professional opinions and guidance. The museum also obtained support from the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau, Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Center and many other cultural organisations in Shaanxi, which provided artefacts and images and rendered assistance in filming in the course of the conceptual design and production of the multimedia components.
Crystal Computer Graphics Ltd, a production company with a wealth of experience in large-scale multimedia production, was commissioned as the specialist multimedia contractor. The company took part in the imaging production and operation project for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, as well as the multimedia design and production of the "Animated Version of the Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival" at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. It approached this exhibition with a high degree of dedication and commitment from the preliminary conceptual design to the production of the multimedia contents, the testing and development of new techniques, as well as the post-production work.
"The Majesty of All Under Heaven: The Eternal Realm of China's First Emperor" is jointly presented by the LCSD and the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau, and co-organised by the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Center. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust is the sole sponsor of the exhibition. It is one of the highlight programmes celebrating the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The Hong Kong Museum of History is open daily from 9am to 10.30pm, with 17 scheduled viewing sessions. Each session will last one and a half hours and accommodate 230 visitors. The first session will start at 9am while the last admission will be at 9pm. Aside from public holidays, the exhibition gallery will be closed on Tuesdays, the museum's rest day.
Admission to the exhibition is $10 per session for all visitors. Children under 4 years old are entitled to free admission when accompanied by an adult. As it is a special exhibition, free admission on Wednesdays and concession tickets are not applicable. Admission tickets are on sale in three phases as follows:
* Phase 1: from July 9 (for dates from July 25 to September 2)
* Phase 2: from August 20 (for dates from September 3 to October 14)
* Phase 3: from September 24 (for dates from October 15 to November 26)
Tickets will be available through counter booking from the first day of each phase. Internet booking via URBTIX (www.urbtix.hk) and credit card telephone booking (tel: 2111 5999) will be available from the second day of sale (i.e. July 10, August 21 and September 25) onwards.
For details of ticketing arrangements and ticket sales updates, please visit the exhibition website at firstemperor.lcsd.gov.hk or call the museum (tel: 2724 9042) or URBTIX (tel: 2734 9009) for enquiries.
With sponsorship from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, schools and registered non-profit-making organisations can apply for free admission along with a guided tour and free coach service for group visits of 20 or more people during day-time and non-public-holiday sessions. Applications should be made two weeks before the visit is planned and will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Application forms can be downloaded from the exhibition website at firstemperor.lcsd.gov.hk .
The museum will launch a thematic website (firstemperor.lcsd.gov.hk ) and use various communication channels such as Facebook, Twitter, smartphone apps, QR codes and more to enable visitors to obtain exhibition information easily.
The Hong Kong Museum of History is located at 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. Its website is at hk.history.museum. For enquiries, please call 2724 9042.
Ends/Thursday, July 12, 2012
A total of 120 valuable relics have been brought to Hong Kong for display at "The Majesty of All Under Heaven: The Eternal Realm of China's First Emperor" exhibition, to be held at the Hong Kong Museum of History from July 25 to November 26. The exhibits include 20 terracotta figures of different kinds that will enable visitors to gain a more comprehensive idea of Emperor Qin's terracotta army. The curatorial team of the Hong Kong Museum of History and experts from the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Center, Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum and the Fengxiang County Museum, Baoji City, have begun the work of mounting the relics. The Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung (second right), visited the museum today (July 12) to learn more about the work's progress. Picture shows the mounting team removing a terracotta kneeling archer from its transport crate and briefing Mrs Fung on the condition of the exhibit.
The mounting team removes a terracotta kneeling archer from its transport crate and briefs Mrs Fung (left) on the condition of the exhibit.
The Hong Kong Museum of History commissioned Crystal Computer Graphics Ltd as the specialist contractor for the exhibition's six large-scale multimedia programmes. Pictured from left are the Project Manager of Crystal Computer Graphics Ltd, Mr Choi Tang-yik; Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Museum of History, Ms Susanna Siu; Production Manager of Crystal Computer Graphics Ltd, Mr Meng Xiangjie; Mrs Fung; Director of the Cultural Exhibition Division of Crystal Computer Graphics Ltd, Mr Teng Jie; General Manager of Crystal Computer Graphics Ltd, Mr Li Haizhong; and the Chief Designer and Director of Crystal Computer Graphics Ltd, Mr Puan.
Mr Teng introduces details of the multimedia programmes to Mrs Fung and media representatives.
Mr Teng Jie introduces details of the multimedia programmes to Mrs Fung.
Mrs Fung tries out one of the exhibition's multimedia programmes.