Digital Silk Road: Dunhuang Academy joins hands with Tencent for digitalization project
The ancient grottos in Gansu province have joined hands with tech giant Tencent in developing a new digital pathway. The move aims to display Buddhist art wonders, in a more vivid way.
The deal was inked on December 29 in Beijing. The Dunhuang Research Academy signed agreements with Chinese tech giant Tencent to plot the path of a new, digitally enabled Dunhuang for future generations.
WANG XUDONG DIRECTOR, DUNHUANG ACADEMY "In 2006, we initiated the "Digital Dunhuang" project, which has digitalized 180 caves. This time, the academy will team up with Tencent to continue the digitalization work. What's more, Tencent will help us make the digitalized cultural resources of the Mogao Grottoes more accessible to people."
According to the agreement, Tencent will use its technology to help the academy better display its cultural relics through virtual-reality and augmented-reality channels. They will also design a new digital-display platform to allow people unable to travel to Dunhuang to enjoy a vivid "visitor" experience. The platform will be based in a huge database compiled by the academy. Wang says using technology helps protect the fragile earthen relics in caves from the higher moisture and temperature levels brought on by the crowds of visitors.
WANG XUDONG DIRECTOR, DUNHUANG ACADEMY "With the use of digital displays at Dunhuang, the beauty of the Mogao Grottoes can be made available to millions of more people than the 1.7 million annual visitors to the site. With the help of VR and AR, it can benefit many more people."
The agreement also allows Tencent to develop cultural resources from Dunhuang into many genres of online-entertainment products, including games, cartoons and music in multiple languages.
DAI BIN, VICE GENERAL MANAGER MARKETING & PUBLIC RELATIONS, TENCENT "Several new roles and storylines inspired by the murals in the Mogao Grottoes will be added to King of Glory, a popular multiplayer online battle game developed by the company. We are also considering to add Zhang Qian, the famous explorer along the Silk Road, to the game. And future offshoots of the game will be designed to promote Dunhuang's history and culture for game players."
Tencent will also help the academy to improve visitors' experience by employing facial recognition technology. The new partners also launched the "Digital Silk Road" project, which aims to protect, promote and revitalize the cultural relics along the ancient route.