Internet Guide for Chinese Studies Newsletter
17 Dec 2005, reviewed by Matthias Arnold

New in IGCS - Painting (

Digital Scrolling Paintings Project

Ed./Corp.: Center for the Art of East Asia, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill., USA
Language: English. 

Cited description: "The Center for the Art of East Asia has initiated a project to create a database of Chinese handscroll paintings in a scrolling digital format. [...] Meant to be unrolled horizontally and viewed section by section as continuous pictures that progress in space and time, handscroll paintings call for a special kind of engagement or participation on the part of the viewer. This temporal and spatial quality is lost in slides or reproductions in books, but can be simulated in the digital medium. Digitized sections of a handscroll that are stitched together can be viewed as a continuous virtual image in the computer through which one can scroll, stop and look more closely, or go back, much as one would experience the actual painting. The digital imaging liberates the viewer from the single viewpoint presented in photographs and slides and creates an exciting tool for teaching and the study of these works of art. It allows the building of interfaces to add text and sound annotations, and zoom properties along with the scrolling capability. [...] this project is progressing on two fronts. The first is to scan existing reproductions into an electronic learning environment for a course site in Chalk. The second is to acquire digital photographs of original paintings to produce a database for research and education purposes." 

Description: Currently (Dec 2005) only three scrolls are available: (1) "Wangchuantu 輞川圖", attributed to Guo Zhongshu 郭忠恕 (ca. 910-977), after Wang Wei 王維 (701-761); (2) "Landscape after Huang Gongwang 臨大痴山水圖" by Lan Ying 藍瑛; and (3) "Orchids" by Yun Xiang 韻香 (fl. 19th cent.). Of special interest is the comparing of scrolls, a feature normally missing from digital projects in the arts. Hopefully, there will be more scrolls available soon. Personally, I missed a "hand tool" for easier scrolling and the use of the right mouse-button, i.e. in zooming in or out. 

Content: (1) About; (2) Scroll Archive; (3) CAEA Website; (4) Contact; (5) Viewer Help. 

Note: Macromedia's Flash Player (version 6+) is required. 


With kind regards,

Hanno E. Lecher



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