Google announced that it has launched an online art exhibition of several thousand Korean cultural artifacts, works of art, and museum pieces on its Google Cultural Institute web site. The announcement was made by Amit Sood, director of the Google Cultural Institute, during his speech at its Big Tent event on October 30, at Platoon Kunsthalle in Gangnam, Seoul.
The exhibition is the result of extensive collaboration that the online search company has pursued with many different museums and art galleries in Korea, among them the National Museum of Korea.
The Google Cultural Institute website allows users to explore Korean paintings, statutes, and other works of art in a manner that is not possible physically, by zooming closely into the work and examining it in almost microscopic detail. Famous works such as the Proecession to Anneung Royal Tomb and Scenery on Dano Day can be examined in great detail by anyone in the world in a moment.
In addition to the exhaustive exhibition collection of traditional Korean artwork are exhibitions about Korean Hanbok, Korean films, and Hanok. Hanbok is traditional Korean women’s dress, and Hanok is the traditional housing style of Korea. These exhibitions include both text, images, and even video explaining the significance and interesting details on each topic. Amit Sood described the experience by saying, “I used to come to Seoul and see a few traditional houses, but I didn’t understand what I was looking at until this exhibition was put together. But the exhibition is also fantastic for anyone studying architecture abroad.”
Director Snood also went on to tell about what else has been added to the Google Cultural Institute web site since it was launched in 2010. “In 2011 we had 17 museums that had given us content,” he explained, “but as of this morning we have over 200 museums participating.” He showed that it was possible to view every art installation in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and then walk the halls of Versailles in France. The Google Cultural Center has adapted Google’s Street View technology to be able to create virtual tours of participating museums, so using the same point-and-click interface, users can virtually visit museums all over the world in a single afternoon.