Sunday, Oct 01, 2023

Phygital Museum Debuts In India At G-20 Summit: All About The New Museum Concept

Phygital Museum Debuts In India At G-20 Summit: All About The New Museum Concept

At the venue of the G-20 Summit, all 29 participating countries will be represented through their rich art and cultural heritage.

India to establish a G20 Digital Museum featuring items from all members
India to establish a G20 Digital Museum featuring items from all members PTI

India, as the current chair of the influential G20 group, has proposed the creation of a 'Culture Corridor,' known as the G20 Digital Museum. This unique museum is set to include at least one significant artifact or a digital representation from each of the member nations, as well as the nine guest countries. The project is anticipated to be unveiled during the upcoming Leaders' Summit in September. Notably, among the items that may be featured in this innovative "phygital" museum are digital reproductions of iconic artworks like the Mona Lisa, a masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci from the 16th century displayed at the Louvre Museum in Paris, and 'Girl With a Pearl Earring,' the renowned oil painting by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, housed in a museum in the Netherlands.

G-20 venue to show 29 nation’s heritage

At the venue of the G20 Summit, all 29 participating countries will be represented through their rich art and cultural heritage. This representation will encompass a diverse range of items, including an 18th-century Qing dynasty jar from China, a statue of Apollo from Italy, and a copy of the 13th-century Magna Carta. Officials from the Ministry of Culture have disclosed that the second level of Bharat Mandapam, where the main summit room is located, will host an exhibition featuring showcase artworks from all participating nations, available in both digital and physical formats.

The Magna Carta, originating from the UK, is a historic royal charter of rights that King John of England agreed to at Windsor on June 15, 1215. India's representation will feature a copy of the Panini Ashtadhyayi, a linguistic text authored by the scholar Panini towards the end of the fourth century BC. This text played a significant role in setting the standard for the written and spoken form of Sanskrit.

India had invited each of the 20 G20 member countries and the nine guest nations to submit five objects that hold cultural or historical significance in their respective countries, either as physical displays or in digital format. These submissions were categorized into five groups: 'object of cultural significance' (for physical display), 'iconic cultural masterpiece' (for digital display), 'intangible cultural heritage' (digital), 'natural heritage' (digital), and an 'artifact related to democratic practices' (physical or digital).

The Culture Corridor has successfully received participation and submissions from all 20 G20 member nations and the 9 invitee countries. The digital section of the exhibition will feature iconic works such as the Mona Lisa painting (France's submission), the Gutenberg Bible (the earliest major printed book) from Germany, the Coatlicue statue (an Aztec sculpture) from Mexico, the Abrahamic Family House (an interfaith complex in Abu Dhabi) from the UAE, and the Kosode (a short-sleeved garment, the direct predecessor of the Kimono) from Japan.

What is Phygital Museum?

A 'phygital' museum signifies the concept of creating a museum that integrates elements of both physical and digital experiences. This term captures the notion that the boundaries between these two realms – the physical and the digital – have blurred significantly, making it increasingly challenging to separate them. Although the term was initially coined by Momentum, an Australian branding and marketing company, back in 2013, it has gained prominence in recent years, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In essence, 'phygital' describes the dynamic interplay, interface, convergence, and blending of physical and digital elements.

The Introduction of Phygital Museums/Exhibitions

These exhibitions/museums incorporate interactive installations, virtual reality (VR) experiences, augmented reality (AR) experiences, and more. In contrast to conventional gallery and museum displays, phygital exhibitions offer visitors a completely novel approach to engaging with art by merging physical components with digital technology.

One of the most captivating aspects of phygital exhibitions lies in their adaptability to a diverse range of audiences. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned art enthusiast, these exhibitions have something to captivate everyone. From interactive installations that enable visitors to engage with the art in a hands-on manner, to virtual reality experiences that transport them to alternate realms, phygital exhibitions provide a distinctive and immersive means of experiencing art.

Benefits and Shortcomings of such museums

Phygital exhibitions offer a host of advantages beyond their unique and immersive art experiences. Firstly, they have the capacity to reach a broader and more diverse audience since they are accessible from anywhere in the world. This accessibility caters to individuals who cannot physically attend an exhibition, as well as those seeking a more interactive engagement with art.

Moreover, phygital exhibitions present a cost-effective means of crafting immersive art encounters. Instead of investing in costly physical installations and equipment, these exhibitions can be developed using readily available technology, such as virtual reality headsets and web browsers. This affordability makes them significantly more accessible, especially for individuals and organizations with limited budgets.

While phygital exhibitions hold great promise, they do come with several challenges that require attention. Firstly, there are technical hurdles to overcome in the creation of these exhibitions, including issues like latency and bandwidth constraints. Additionally, the cost of developing a high-quality phygital exhibition can be prohibitively expensive for certain institutions.

Furthermore, there are social and ethical considerations tied to phygital exhibitions, particularly concerning matters of privacy and safety. As the popularity of these exhibitions continues to grow, it becomes increasingly vital to establish robust security measures and ensure the protection of visitors' privacy.



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