Up Close and Personal: 3D Walkthroughs at a Delhi museum

Up Close and Personal: 3D Walkthroughs at a Delhi museum
The humble virtual museum tour just got even more immersive with the unique experience offered by KNMA Delhi, Photo Credit: Image courtesy: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and BongWater Films

The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in Saket just launched 360-degree panoramic walkthroughs of their exhibitions and we couldn’t be more excited

Prannay Pathak
October 22 , 2020
05 Min Read

As the biggest talking point of this year, the pandemic, shunted people inside their homes and made travel virtually impossible, a lot of us turned to art for inspiration. Some cooked for a while, a few resumed sketching and the others turned amateur gardeners. But with the subsequent ‘Unlocks’ implemented, museums all over the world have started engaging better with their audience, including conducting live tours and talks on their websites and social media. Back home, too, Delhi’s Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, has kicked off 360-degree walkthroughs of their exhibitions. The modern and contemporary art museum has designed the experience having worked with a city-based VR film studio, BongWater Films.

"While the 360 experience is fully loaded with artist profiles, videos, photos for audiences to directly engage with the artworks and the artists, the 3D version of the experience was created as a lightweight version keeping in mind bandwidth limitations for remote users to view this in an equally immersive manner. With this virtual experience we wanted to understand how Virtual Reality (VR) can find a place within the museum experience," says Siddharth Seth, creative director, BongWater Films.

So, What’s it About?
The tour allows the visitor to reach closer to the works on display, use the scrollers to adjust to the best view and read the information on the labels alongside.

The 3D map-representation of the galleries swinging into action on the screen

The four on-screen widgets allow one to jump from one gallery to another using the map, engage with the work better by accessing the artist’s profile and the related video and images. Udita Jain, producer and managing partner, BongWater Films, shares, "The most rewarding outcome of an experience like this is the inadvertent democratisation of art. These digital interactions resonate with people who otherwise don't have physical access to these spaces and that is the way forward for art galleries, museums and archaeological and historic sites."

Installation by Jayashree Chakravarty

The 3D walkthrough feature is an immersive tour through the museum, handing the controls of the experience right back to the viewer. Just click on the related widget and a 3D map of the area opens up on the screen, allowing you to rotate the map any way you desire and step wherever you want. Or just let the play button be your guide, stopping it at any point you wish, using the information buttons to find out what a particular exhibit is all about.

What’s on Display
Currently, there are four exhibitions on display. The principal among these and the one headlining the start of this initiative is ‘Zarina: A Life in Nine Lines’, dedicated to the Indo-American artist and printmaker Zarina Hashmi, who breathed her last in April this year. The show ‘Line, Beats and Shadows’, displays the works of the Pakistani artist Lala Rukh, Bangladeshi visual artist Ayesha Sultana, the Indian modernist Prabhavathi Meppayil, and the artist-sculptor Sumakshi Singh.

View this post on Instagram

#DidYouKnow – Mrinalini Mukherjee began working with ceramics after a residency at the European Ceramics Work Centre in the Netherlands. [Mrinalini Mukherjee, Florescense l, 1995, Ceramic] #KNMAIndia #KNMA #MrinaliniMukherjee #CeramicArt

A post shared by Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (@knmaindia) on Oct 6, 2020 at 4:30am PDT

The exhibition ‘Abstracting Nature’ showcases the works of sculptor Mrinalini Mukherjee and installations by Jayashree Chakravarty. The fourth exhibition, called, ‘Right to laziness… No, strike that! Sidewalking with the man saying sorry’, is all of us in the year 2020. The imaginative murals that are part of this avant-garde showcase are worth a deep dive for these unsure times. Explore all this excellence at your own speed and leisure, and if you’ve got a pair of VR glasses, even better!

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