A mixed reality experience at Japan’s oldest Zen temple introduces a new way to appreciate cultural treasures
In partnership with the Kyoto National Museum, hakuhodo-VRAR’s “MR Museum in Kyoto” applies a mixed reality experience to Kennin-ji’s beautiful and sacred artwork The Folding Screen of Fujin and Raijin (Wind God and Thunder God Screens) by Tawaraya Sotatsu, painted over 400 years ago.
Watch the presentation video here.
The 10-minute experience provides a dynamic, holographic narrative that helps temple visitors better understand Tawaraya Sotatsu’s vision for The Folding Screen of Funin and Raijin. A holographic Kennin-ji monk guides guests through the experience as contextual, digital descriptions populate within the dedicated temple room. One of the most compelling experiences is seeing the world’s first 3D renditions of works from the same Fujin and Raijin theme by Ogata Korin, Sakai Hoitsu and other artists of the Rinpa school who were inspired by Tawaraya Sotatsu. Each was produced 100 years apart and they are physically in several separate museums, but in this experience, you get to see them all side by side in very high resolution and in compelling 3D holographic images.
The result is a remarkable blend of historical artifacts with bleeding-edge mixed reality technology that provides an all-new, engaging way to appreciate and understand one of Japan’s national treasures.
“MR Museum in Kyoto” solves several challenges faced by traditional museums. Through HoloLens, the process of learning about The Folding Screen of Funin and Raijin becomes experiential and interactive. Historical components are given new context—in full, volumetric 3D—within the physical temple, enabling a more effective communication of detailed or complex concepts than traditional text or video can deliver.
In addition, hakuhodo-VRAR’s experience is the first Japanese HoloLens project to take advantage of our Mixed Reality Capture Studios. Like many other mixed reality content creators from around the world, hakuhodo-VRAR visited one of our studios to record volumetric, holographic video of dynamic people and performances; in this case, you can see how they captured the Kennin-ji monk in the video below. I remarked in front of the press and TV stations gathered at the announcement event, that Asano-san is now likely the world’s first 3D monk. Viewers can experience content captured at the studios in a variety of ways, from Microsoft HoloLens, the world’s first fully self-contained holographic computer, right through to 2D, mobile-phone displays.
The official MR Museum webpage link can be found here.