August 19, 2020
Virtual tour brings closed Japan back to life
Auckland City Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki has launched a virtual reality tour of a blockbuster exhibition of Japanese masterpieces, including a version with a te reo Māori voiceover.
The gallery’s head of brands, Tanya Stoyanof, says when the first lockdown was announced two weeks after the launch of Enchanted Worlds: Hokusai, Hiroshige and the Art of Edo Japan, she sent in a team to record all the items in the show.
This digital record was turned into the tour for all those who were unable to get to the show when it reopened briefly.
She says Edo, now known as Tokyo, was cut off from Western eyes for almost 300 years from 1603 to 1868, when the new Meiji emperor opened up his island country to the modern world.
"This a glimpse into a very closed off community. The artworks were produced by two of the masters, Hokusai and Hiroshige, depicting life in those times. Some of them have never been out in public for 300 years," Ms Stoyanof says.
The te reo Māori virtual tour audio was voiced by Radio Waatea producer Ellyce McLeod.
The tour is available at virtual.aucklandartgallery.com.
Copyright © 2020, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com