Houston gets a taste of Taipei in this year's Museum Expo. Hailing from the National Palace Museum in Taiwan,Tang Palace Rhapsody uses motion sensing and digital technology to bring an entertaining perspective to interactive museum exhibits.
The exhibit begins with the Tang Dynasty painting A Palace Concert projected on a large screen. As you enter the room, faint sounds of laughter and chatter can be heard from the women sitting around the table. Motion sensors detect your movement and the ladies in the painting come to life.
You can send the ladies to different settings like Paris and New York by stepping on different areas of an interactive floorboard. By doing so, the ancient painting takes on more modern themes, as the women grab electric guitars in lieu of lyres, wear "I Love New York" shirts, and rock out with headphones on.
It's a little ridiculous, but the point isn't hard to miss. It's an attempt to place the ancient world in context with the modern. Whether you are able to identify with it or just find it plain silly is the real question.
Tang Palace Rhapsody is a product of the National Palace Museum of Taiwan's ongoing efforts to digitize their collection into 3D virtual artwork displays. They hope this will make history more available to people by presenting it in new ways. It's only one of the many exhibits you can find at the Museum Expo.
Closes May 25. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas. For information call 202-218-7682 or visit www.museumexpo.org