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The Virtual Museum Tour Experience
Written by Hanseung Cho | Published. 2021.01.30 08:08 | Count : 120

As a consequence of Korean society becoming negligent and inattentive to the social distancing regulations during the year-end holiday season, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases spiked to above 1,000 a day for the first time on December 13. Because of this unprecedented surge, the government deemed it necessary to maintain the social distancing level at 2.5 (out of 3) until January 17. With these considerably stricter restrictions, many museum and exhibition enthusiasts have been disappointed once again, as many were hoping to visit the numerous showcases to celebrate the New Year. 

However, to satisfy the desire of these enthusiasts, many museums and exhibits have applied new technologies, such as virtual reality, to continue offering their showcases. After hearing about this new and interesting adaption, I grew extremely curious about the merger between technology and art, and decided to experience this “new normal” for myself. After searching online, I was able to find an intriguing website created by the Savina Museum of Contemporary Art, on which they had a “digital museum” page dedicated to their numerous virtual reality showcases.

[A screenshot of the “We Are Each Other’s Destiny, An Artistic Embrace of Endangered Animals” interactive virtual exhibit. Photo courtesy of the Savina Museum of Contemporary Art]

Of the 36 available exhibits, the first one I chose to view was “We Are Each Other’s Destiny, An Artistic Embrace of Endangered Animals.” This exhibit, consisting of 35 pieces of art, is a collaboration by four different artists intended to raise awareness of the millions of animals that are facing extinction in the coming decade and demonstrate how museums can play a role in advocating for the protection of such species. At first, I encountered some difficulties navigating around the virtual gallery. However, I was soon able to understand the functions of the different interactive buttons that enabled me to replicate the experience and feeling of being at an exhibit in-person. By clicking the red arrows, I could move through the exhibit to view the different pieces of art, and the buttons above the individual pieces of art provided a zoomed-in view of them. Although I did have some difficulty when attempting to read the small museum labels, I had a great experience enjoying the abstract pieces of art from the comfort and safety of my own home. 

[The interactive video rooms of the “3D Printing & Art - Artists’ New Creation Tool” virtual exhibit. Photo courtesy of the Savina Museum of Contemporary Art]

After looking through the first exhibit, I chose to also take a look at another interesting exhibit: “3D Printing & Art - The Artist’s New Creation Tool.” This exhibit, created by a group of 3D print art pioneers, aims to examine how this new innovative and revolutionary technology will impact the field of art in the future, and how it is being incorporated into different art genres. However, this exhibition had an impressive feature that the first did not. Using the map buttons on the bottom right corner of the screen, viewers can find video rooms in which there are in-depth explanations of 3D printing technology. I was genuinely impressed that the Savina Museum of Contemporary Art incorporated this special feature of real exhibits to truly replicate the in-person experience of an exhibition. Unlike the first exhibit, which felt somewhat like an online photo gallery, this exhibit was able to provide an authentic exhibit experience. 

Overall, I felt that the virtual museum tour experience was very much on par with what a real museum would have provided. By looking through the two exhibits, not only did I learn more about the concepts covered, but I was also able to experience and enjoy the new virtual museum tours that are becoming more prevalent during this pandemic. Personally, I felt that this adaptation to these unprecedented conditions has proven to be absolutely successful, as both museum enthusiasts and bored individuals are able to easily access such profound and meaningful exhibits at their fingertips.



Hanseung Cho
Junior (Grade 11)
Seoul Foreign School

Hanseung Cho  student_reporter@dherald.com

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