Google zooms in on Korean culture : The virtual exhibition has 30,000 artifacts and artworks inside
The new Korean Heritage site (g.co/koreanheritage) can be accessed on a computer or a smartphone in both Korean and English. There are about 30,000 artifacts and artworks and 18 historical sites such as Jongmyo Shrine, royal palaces and royal tombs, that can be accessed through the page. Google Arts & Culture has been introducing Korean art and culture through its website since 2012.
Rather than simply uploading high resolution pictures and information you could find in an encyclopedia, Google worked closely with curators and professors in the field to tell stories about the items in the collection.
“Some of the facts we introduce are those that sometimes get lost in the academic world,” said Sood, explaining that it’s an effort to “make people more interested and connected.”
“In my view, culture is everything,” Sood continued. “It’s how we live, how we eat and how we work. But unfortunately what has happened in the last many years is that culture and popular culture have started going separate ways. For us, this is the real opportunity to use technology and the internet to bridge these two together again, by telling stories, by allowing young users to have fun with culture or allowing older people to see up close the brush strokes of artworks, for example.”
Using Google’s special Art Camera, many of the paintings and relics have been photographed again so that users can enjoy them in ultra high resolution, such as details on sophisticated embroidery works or even the facial expressions of the hundreds of people on a folding screen painting of the royal banquet known as “Iminjinyeondobyeong” (1902).
By using Google Cardboard, the company’s virtual reality headset, users can also have a VR experience of taking part in King Jeongjo’s royal procession or simply taking a stroll around royal palaces.
“For foreigners like me, it’s difficult to learn about another country’s cultural heritage,” said Sood.
“Learning about all different dynasties and different rulers and their contributions, it was really an eye opener for me to learn about it through this project. It led to a deeper appreciation.”
BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [firstname.lastname@example.org]