Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Discovering a lost Dynasty, the Liao Dynasty of Inner Mongolia

  2012-10-11 01:40:29    Xinhua      Web Editor: luodan
Some of the cultural relics unearthed in a sensational archeological finding in China several years ago have been brought to Singapore in the rare form of a three-dimensional digital exhibition thanks to advanced imaging technologies, organizers said on Wednesday.

The exhibition, which runs from Oct. 12 to Oct. 21 at a public library, features about 50 items of cultural relics unearthed from a mysterious tomb. It is one of the first 3D digital exhibitions of artifacts without any of the physical objects shipped from the museums, organizers said.

Several touch screens were set up at the exhibition to enable visitors to study and interact with the artifacts in close details. The digital system allows the three-dimensional images with rich texture to be rotated and zoomed in and out as visitors want. They can even disassemble the artifacts into components to study the details and learn how they match each other to form a system.

The finding of the mysterious tomb of the Liao Dynasty in a mountain in Inner Mongolia in northern China in 2003 has been one of the most sensational archeological findings in China in recent years.

The woman buried in the tomb was believed to be a member of the royal family of the Liao Dynasty, which was founded by the Khitan tribes and ruled the northern part of China in the 10th and 11th centuries. However, experts can now only guess at the identity of the tomb owner partly due to the lack of written records and the disappearance of the Khitan people and their language just centuries later.

There were no records of her identity found with her in the tomb but the dragon and phoenix images of the embroidery on the garments and ornaments suggest that she might be a member of the royal family with certain religious duties, said Ta La, director of Inner Mongolia Museum and an archeologist who specializes in Khitan researches.

The veteran archeologist said the 3D digital imaging technology is a revolutionary enabler in terms of managing the artifacts and displaying them for exhibitions.

"China is a multicultural country. The exhibition will help people in Singapore know more about the cultural traditions of China's northern grasslands, especially the nomadic cultural traditions, so that they will have a fresh perspective when it comes to Chinese culture," he said.

The exhibition was organized the organization Business China and a company Chasen Sino-Sin Hi-Tech Services. Business China is an organization established in 2007 with the aim of promoting business exchanges between Singapore and China and grooming bilingual and bicultural talent.

Zhao Feng, chief executive officer of Amber Digital Solutions, which provided the technological support to the project, said the technology was derived from three-dimensional imaging systems used for industrial engineering purposes but adapted to meet the demanding features of cultural relics such as their rich unique details and strict safety requirements in the scanning process.

Amber Digital Solutions is now one of the leaders in the 3D digital representation of cultural relics. It took the company several months to scan all the 338 items of cultural relics unearthed from the mysterious tomb.

His company had to develop some programs and proprietary applications to deal with the challenges while working on the project. One of them is the optimization of the huge amount of data acquired from the scanning to avoid overwhelming the computer but not to lose the rich details.

Amber Digital Solutions is now also working on an application that allows even smart phone users to appreciate digital exhibition of cultural relics such as ceramics with easy rotation and zooming.

Zhao said museums in Europe and other places have shown strong interests in their solutions.

"Quite a number of companies saw the potential and tried to adapt the three-dimensional imaging technologies used for engineering purposes so that they can be used for digital museums, but most of them backed out after finding out how challenging it is. We are one of those who persevered," he said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have named your blog for a Liebster Blog Award. My post about it here: