NU Homepage highlights our work with the Dunhuang Academy

Sun Hongcai, June Mei, Director Fan Jin Shi and Harlan Wallach. Photo by Stefani Foster

For the second time in as many days the NU homepage is highlighting work coming out of NUIT A&RT NUAMPS. Of course we’re honored to be able to collaborate with the Dunhuang Academy and have the opportunities that this work creates.

The article authored by Chris Ganjani and Sherry Minton of NUIT communications is excerpted below.

EVANSTON, Ill. — The treasures of China’s world-renowned Mogao Grottoes, or Dunhuang Caves―arguably home to the most important collection of ancient cave murals and other Buddhist art―soon will become more widely accessible and better preserved with help from Northwestern University.

For the first time during the multi-year e-heritage preservation project with Northwestern, a team of digital technology specialists from China’s Dunhuang Academy visited the University for a ten-day exchange of advanced digital imaging techniques with their counterparts at Northwestern University Information Technology (NUIT)―a partnership that began in 1999.

The Dunhuang Academy has embarked on a large-scale national initiative in China to build a new museum and visitor center near the site to give the public an interactive cave experience with the proper balance between tourism and conservation.

Applying new skills and techniques they learned at Northwestern, the Mogao Grottoes Photography and Data Management team are creating and building a three dimensional and digital imagery archive of over 300 unique cave murals to display within the center.

“This trip provided the rare opportunity for us to share technology to enhance existing photography and enable the acquisition and conservation of these artifacts through digital media,” said Robert Taylor, director, NUIT Academic & Research Technologies. “We are honored to be a part of this collaborative relationship in support of China’s historic endeavor.”

For more than a decade, NUIT Northwestern University Advanced Media Production Studio (NUAMPS) and the Dunhuang Academy have worked together on projects designed to preserve China’s cultural heritage through the application of advanced computing technologies.

“There is no site in the world comparable to the Mogao Grottoes,” said Harlan Wallach, media architect, NUIT Academic & Research Technologies. “We are digitally preserving forever the relics of the grottoes from natural deterioration, such as atmospheric environmental damage and cave-ins, which will inevitably occur over time.”

Read the rest here…