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Art gets a second life via digitized showcasing

NTT East Corp. has launched a project to preserve Japan’s cultural properties in an effort to conserve assets susceptible to damage from natural disasters or deterioration over time.

Under the project, the telecommunication firm plans to digitalize cultural properties, such as paintings, architecture and historical documents, and store the data on the firm’s server.

Using the data and advanced technology, such as projection mapping and virtual reality, NTT East hopes to create digital contents that can be distributed to museums and schools or companies and municipalities.

According to the firm, such a scheme will create more opportunities for people to enjoy the country’s valuable art, which is often shown publicly for a limited time under strict rules.

As part of the project, NTT East is currently holding “Digital × Hokusai,” an exhibition at NTT Intercommunication Center in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward, showcasing digitalized replicas of Katsushika Hokusai’s renowned “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji” series housed at Yamanashi Prefectural Museum.

The exhibition displays 47 remastered ukiyo-e masterpieces, which even accurately recreate the texture of washi (traditional Japanese paper) fiber. Some of the works are equipped with a sensor that responds to viewer movement.

Also on display are 12 replicas of impressionist works, including “Woman with a Parasol” by Claude Monet.

“Digital × Hokusai” is scheduled to run through March 1, 2020, at NTT Intercommunication Center on the fourth floor of Tokyo Opera City Tower.

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