Dai Nippon Printing and the Bibliothèque nationale de France Co-organize the 2nd Exhibition of Bnf-DNP Museum Lab "Tomorrow's Cultural Experience" from April 15 to July 11, 2021

Creating a new model of cultural experience to promote the encounter with new knowledge and interest

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (Head office: Tokyo, Japan. Capital: 114.4 billion Yen. Represented by Yoshinari Kitajima, President) ("DNP") and its partner the Bibliothèque nationale de France ("BnF") co-organize the 2nd exhibition of Bnf-DNP Museum Lab "Tomorrow's Cultural Experience" from April 15 to July 11, 2021.

At the BnF, a large-scale project named "Richelieu Renaissance Project" is currently in progress for the first entire renovation of the Richelieu site - the national library's historical origin - since its foundation in 1721. Once the renovation is finished in 2022, the Richelieu site, whose access was limited to academic and other experts before the renovation, will have a new museum open to the general public, displaying the BnF's precious collections and documents while making full use of digital technologies.

Supporting the initiative, DNP is the only partner from Asia participating in this project with a skill-based patronage, and has engaged in the digitalization of the BnF's collections and spaces and in developing systems to display the digital data. The exhibition at DNP Gotanda Building in Tokyo, which anticipates the re-opening of the Richelieu site in Paris, is an opportunity to showcase the outcomes of such activities.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, original artifacts from BnF could not be exhibited. As a challenge to the physical constraints currently imposed on the mobility of people and artworks, the exhibition will present a new model of cultural experience to promote the encounter with new knowledge and interest through digital data. Besides establishing partnerships with other corporations and organizations to develop this solution, DNP will provide the public with opportunities to enjoy art and culture in an innovative environment.

DNP will continue to promote this model, supporting digitalization of different types of artistic and cultural resources, to provide enhanced opportunities to use and access the data.

Outlines and Features of "Tomorrow's Cultural Experience"

Leveraging the 3D data of the BnF's precious collections and historical spaces:

To achieve the 3D digitalization of artworks containing light-reflecting materials and every detail of vast spaces, DNP applied the technique co-developed with BnF for the 1st exhibition of BnF-DNP Museum Lab in 2016 ("Globes in Motion"). By extending the photogrammetry process (method of creating 3D images from photos taken from multiple angles and analyzed on a computer), the company successfully digitalized a broader range of materials and larger objects such as spaces.

■ Digitalization of Artworks

By combining its unique photography techniques and auxiliary systems, DNP developed an efficient process for creating high-quality digital images of BnF's artworks containing light-reflecting materials. These images are also accessible via "Gallica", the BnF's digital library.

■ Digitalization of Spaces

For an efficient shooting of vast spaces, DNP used its unique system that controls camera angles automatically. This choice enabled the high-definition shooting (940 megapixels or 80 megapixels x 1183 shots) of the ceiling painting in one of the BnF's historical spaces, "Mazarin Gallery" (W8m x D45m), optimizing the quality of digital images to reproduce the fine details of the painting.

Inspiring People to Broaden Their Interest by 4 Types of Systems

In collaboration with the BnF, DNP has taken up a challenge to bring artworks ever closer to their audience despite their mobility constraints, for inspiring people to enhance their cultural experience and interest. Specially developed by DNP for this exhibition, the cutting-edge "Contents Interactive System", which uses four types of visual experience devices, offers an opportunity to discover virtually the collection of the BnF's Department of Coins, Medals, and Antiques. Visitors can also "walk" through the Richelieu site's historical Mazarin Gallery with a head-mounted VR display.

■ Enjoying the fusion of real and digital with smart glasses 

By wearing an eyeglass-type device (smart glasses), visitors can see virtual artworks as if the actual pieces were in the display case. They can even "touch" the objects by making specific movements, which is possible only with digital artworks designed for interactive experiences. As visitors walk through the exhibition area and shift their eyes, appropriate explanations are displayed on the device.

■ Exploring virtual space with a head-mounted VR display

Visitors wear head-mounted displays and follow a handrail to discover a VR space. With the system using redirected walking technology*, they feel as if they were exploring a vast space and not a small exhibition area. The system also leverages the effect of auditory sense on spatial perception, mainly by switching the sound effects as visitors move in the VR space.

*A technology that deceives spatial perception by displaying images slighly different from actual movement (incorporated in the system under the guidance of Associate Professor Narumi and Assistant Professor Matsumoto, from the Kuzuoka Amemiya Narumi Lab, The University of Tokyo). 

■ Manipulating artworks on a touch device

By rotating, magnifying, or reducing digital images on wide 55 and 70 inches displays, visitors can explore artworks and their features as if the objects were in their hands. With this system supporting 8K resolution and using high-definition data, it is possible to observe delicate patterns and textures invisible to the naked eye.

■ Identifying links between objects in a virtual cube

A cube-shaped interface is used for the 3D visualization of "perspectives" that cannot be fully represented in a flat plane (2D). Designed to enhance visitors' interest in different themes, the system (for which a patent application has been filed) provides content for learning how the objects are linked to each other.

Exhibition Summary

Title

The 2nd exhibition of BnF-DNP Museum Lab "Tomorrow's Cultural Experience"

Term

April 15 (Thu) to July 11 (Sun), 2021

Opening hours

10:00-12:00 and 13:00-17:30 from Monday to Friday

Place

1st floor of DNP Gotanda Building (3-5-20 Nishi Gotanda, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo)

  • Organized by Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) in collaboration with the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), with the support of the French Embassy in Japan
  • Please make your reservation or send your query through the website below.
  • Admission is free but requires reservation.
  • The reservation process and opening date differ for corporate and individual visitors. Please see the following websites for further information:

For corporate visitors: https://www.dnp.co.jp/biz/theme/cultural_property/bnf/10159378_3530.html

For individual visitors: https://www.museumlab.jp/bnfRichelieu

Future developments

In order to disseminate broadly this model offering a new type of cultural experience, DNP will endeavor to create partnerships with interested companies and to implement the solution in cultural institutions like museums, libraries or archive centres, in corporate museums or showrooms, and in schools and other educational facilities.

■ Bibliothèque nationale de France

Founded in the 14th century as a royal library, the BnF is one of the world's most prestigious cultural institutions. Its mission is to collect, conserve, and make available to the public more than about 40 million documents inherited from France's successive kings. The objects conserved by the BnF include all types of documents, materials, and records, such as manuscripts, printed materials, prints, periodicals (newspapers and magazines), photographs, maps, coins, audiovisual materials, video games, and websites. In the BnF's digital library "Gallica", more than 8 million digital documents are accessible to the public regardless of their physical distance from the actual documents.


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