Virtual Guides

  1. Artist: The National Palace Museum, Liu Yu-shu, Wu Hua-lun, Lee Chung-kuei

The two Virtual Guides: Emperor Qianlong and a 17th century sister are projected at the entrance of the exhibition. The 3D technology brings the fully dressed Qianlong painted by Castiglione alive. He could greet visitors and stamp his Emperor's Seal towards the screen. The sister who represents European civilization could raise the cross and let the holy light shine. Each of the monitor would display a QR Code. Emperor Qianlong is the Chinese guide and the sister is the English guide. Visitors only need to scan the QR Code with his or her smart phone to obtain further information. This interactive guide let visitors have a taste of the exhibition before entering.

Original work of art

Frontispiece portrait of Emperor Qianlong in the Anthology of Imperial Poetry.

The Making of the Virtual Guides

When producing the background for the virtual guides, the design team used the concept of the kaleidoscope. The background for Qianlong uses a traditional Chinese pattern while the background for the nun is decorated with patterns commonly used within the Western church. The background moves and rotates in sync with the guides, who are stationed at the entrance and usher visitors into the exhibit.
The Design of the Nun When designing the character of the nun, the design team consulted many images of Asian and Caucasian women and ended up modeling the nun after primarily Caucasian features with some subtle Asian features.
The Design of Qianlong When producing the Qianlong virtual guide, in order to make the guide’s facial features resemble those of Qianlong, the design team collected photos and drawings of Qianlong and carefully studied his appearance and outfits. If one looks closely, details such as the dragon pattern on the chest, the embroidery on the cuffs, and the 108 prayer beads hanging on his neck have all been faithfully reproduced. The ancient practice of stamping official seals is also echoed in modern applications of the QRcode.