An Art Viewing Multimedia System Developed in Collaboration with Ateneum Art Museum/ Finnish National Gallery and Now Operational at the Museum

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) in collaboration with Ateneum Art Museum / Finnish National Gallery has developed a digital offering, "at Home", now implemented at Ateneum and operational since March 19, 2016. This multimedia system allows viewers to enjoy artworks (watercolors and drawings) by Helene Schjerfbeck, a highly popular Finnish female artist, along with wide-ranging commentaries that can be switched among four languages: Finnish, Swedish, English, and Japanese. The device also affords the opportunity for a wide audience to appreciate works on paper that were rarely exhibited for conservation reasons given the fragile nature of the material.

DNP works alongside various museums in its "DNP Museum Lab" initiative in order to foster familiarity with diverse cultural and artistic contexts, making use of the latest information technology and image processing know-how. Various such art viewing multimedia displays feature presently in permanent collections in venues including the Musée du Louvre, France and the Sèvres - Cité de la Céramique museum, as well as in temporary exhibitions in art museums within Japan. The current "at Home" offering was also developed through this initiative.

Overview of the "at Home" art viewing multimedia system

Developed by DNP in collaboration with Ateneum Art Museum, the "at Home" art viewing multimedia system was implemented at the "Helene Schjerfbeck: Reflections" travelling exhibition within Japan (2015-2016), which featured works loaned by Ateneum. A large number of visitors were thus able to use this system. Female artist Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946), whose paintings show a diverse range of styles that always draw deeply on her own inner vision, has attracted much attention in recent years, not only in her native Finland but also on the international scene. To design the "at Home" system, some one hundred of the artist's paper-based works (such as watercolors and drawings) were digitized , to which information for enhanced understanding of her life and work were added, in order to broadly discover and appreciate the works from a variety of angles. Schjerfbeck's life as an artist is divided into three parts-adolescence, prime of life and her later years - thus enabling visitors to decode the characteristics of each epoch and the artworks produced at that time. The commentary information is available in four interchangeable languages: Finnish, Swedish, English, and Japanese.

"at Home" art viewing multimedia system screen image

Future developments

DNP, along with Ateneum, realizing the high educational potential of the "at Home" artwork viewing system, will continue to develop educational programs, such as workshop programs using tablet-type devices, drawing on know-how related to art appreciation education in Finland.

About DNP Museum Lab
Working alongside museums and art galleries throughout the world, DNP seeks to develop innovative artwork viewing resources that allow visitors to become more familiar with diverse cultural and artistic contexts through its "DNP Museum Lab" initiative. Launched in 2006, the joint "Louvre-DNP Museum Lab" project, enabled the development of artwork viewing multimedia systems that make use of information technologies, in order to offer an enriching "dialogue" between the artwork and the viewer. Multimedia systems developed during this project have been gradually installed at the Musée du Louvre, with six such displays currently operational within the museum in Paris.  
In July 2015, DNP embarked upon a cooperative venture with the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF; National Library of France) for the 3D digitization of 55 precious terrestrial and celestial globes from the library's collection with the aim of making them available to a wider audience. In February 2016 a hands-on exhibition titled "Globes in Motion" opened at the DNP Gotanda Building (Tokyo), presenting actual globes alongside 3D digital data. The exhibition runs over two periods: the first from February 19 to May 22, and the second from June 3 to September 4. The multimedia systems developed here are expected to be subsequently installed at the BnF in Paris. Furthermore, in addition to DNP Museum Lab, DNP manages the DNP Kyoto Uzumasa Cultural Heritage Gallery, conceived on the theme of preservation and transmission of cultural heritage, through the production and dissemination of highly durable sophisticated and accurate real-size reproductions of important cultural assets and 4K video footage of Kyoto's tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
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