Art enthusiasts in Bangkok have an exciting reason to visit the River City Bangkok this month, as the hub of art and antiques collaborates with Taipei’s renowned National Palace Museum to create Thailand’s first-ever interactive Chinese art exhibition. A turning point for the local art scene, viewers get the chance to truly immerse themselves in ancient Chinese art through a digitally enhanced environment.

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Titled ‘Up The River During Qingming’, the exhibition features an array of installations based on a series of beautiful hand-scroll paintings created during the Song, Ming and Qing dynasties. Cutting-edge multimedia technology is used to provide a mesmerising augmented reality experience that allows audiences to literally step into the paintings and interact with them. Expect eight different zones, each of which boasts interactive exhibits, paintings and artifacts that offer insight into the life and art of ancient China.

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The highlight of the exhibition is the ‘Up The River During Qingming Painting Animation’, based on a hand-scroll of coloured inks on silk created by five Qing Dynasty court artists. The piece depicts days of prosperity in China at the time, a story of weddings, bustling markets and outdoor theatres and daily shenanigans like chasing a runaway pig. A multifaceted narrative of life in a different era, the installation provides a glimpse of both happiness and tribulations in the animation zone.

There are also other exciting exhibits such as ‘Roaming Through Fantasy Land’, which is inspired by an original work by Zhao Mengfu and uses virtual reality technology to let viewers enter a virtual fantasy world where they can explore Jinan province. Meanwhile ‘Marvels In The Sea Immersive Interactive Theatre’ features an immersive ancient marine experience, where audiences can physically feel the swirling of currents and hear waves roaring, as well as interact with the exhibit using a fishing light.

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‘Summer Lotus’, inspired by a piece by Song Dynasty artist Feng Ta-yu is another interactive installation, where audiences can walk across a virtual pond filled with the painter’s elegantly detailed lotuses. Another floral exhibit titled ‘Castiglione’s Virtual Flowers’ is an augmented reality installation by professor Jeffrey Shaw, where Giuseppe Castiglione’s still life work is re-created as life-sized virtual 3D illusions.

There are even zones where audiences get the chance to be a part of the exhibit, such as the ‘A Hundred Horses Co-Creative Installation’. Also inspired by Giuseppe Castiglione, the installation sees audiences colour in their own horse drawings, which is then uploaded onto an illustrated landscape where the horses spring to life before the viewers who created them.

Other zones viewers should not miss out on include ‘The Heavenly Spirit Of Calligraphy’, which offers fascinating insight to the art and technique behind the formation of Chinese characters, as well as the fun ‘Galaxy Adventure of NPM Guardians’, where guests are taken on a miniature boat through adventures in the galaxy with classic characters in Chinese mythology such as the Monkey King and Western Han Dynasty Pottery Pig.

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An intriguing and innovative approach to art, the exhibition also features a dialogue between Thailand’s Chao Phraya river and the ancient Bian river, signifying the unison of two great river cultures through an incredibly meaningful collaboration between renowned art hubs in Thailand and Taiwan.

The exhibition will be open to public until February 12, 2019 at River City Bangkok’s second floor RCB Galleria. Tickets can be purchased directly from the River City Bangkok concierge or at Thai Ticket Major. To find out more, call 0-237-0077-8 or visit rivercitybangkok.com.

Tags: River City Bangkok, Contemporary Art, Bangkok Art Biennale, Interactive Art, Chinese Art, Taiwan Thailand