Click-through: 3D Models of Chinese Treasures

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1:22 AM HKT, Thu July 20, 2017 1 mins read

Hey, here’s something cool to click around next time you want to waste some time online: 4DAGE’s 3D models of antiquities cherry-picked from a couple of museums in southern China.

The treasures on virtual view mostly come from the Nantong Museum in Jiangsu province, which is one of the oldest in China, founded in 1905 by Qing-era entrepreneur, scholar and politician Zhang Jian. Collection highlights featured here include a ceramic statue of the Bodhisattva Guanyin, a gilded copper figurine of the Daoist demigod Kui Xing, a mountain landscape carved in jade, and an ornamental ding (鼎, a ceremonial tripod form dating to Chinese prehistory) inlaid with colorful enamel.

The web gallery also includes a few items from the Guangdong Museum further south, which offers a vibrant, elephant-shaped candleholder once owned by Qianlong, sixth emperor of the Qing Dynasty, and an intricately detailed folding fan, also dating to the Qing Dynasty.

In addition to being an edifying reason to impulsively open a bunch of tabs on your browser, this project is also a bit of cultural outreach from 4DAGE, a Zhuhai-based company founded in 2013 that holds several patents in 3D reconstruction and 3D printing. On their website they claim micron-level precision scanning, which means the artifacts you’re twirling on your screen are accurate representations down to one millionth of a meter.

Naturally, they can apply this 3D scanning, rendering and printing technology to any number of other subjects. Here’s a Minion from the disconcertingly ubiquitous China box office smasher Despicable Me 3. Here’s a cartoon giraffe.

4DAGE is currently posted up in the China corner of Expo 2017 Astana, a month-plus spectacle in the Kazakh capital bringing together exhibitions from almost 50 participating countries loosely grouped under the theme “Future Energy”. 4DAGE has the “future” part covered as the official technology provider for a virtual reality guide of the Expo’s China Pavilion. (The “energy” part is being handled by the China General Nuclear Power Corporation and the China National Nuclear Corporation, incidentally.)

Assuming you don’t have the time or money for a quick round-trip to Astana, here’s that link again, in case you want to enjoy 4DAGE’s reformatting of ancient art into a futuristic format.

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