Japan's art "cloning" technology set to revamp global museums

TOKYO — The cloning of cultural properties, the creation of highly precise replicas of important artifacts developed by Tokyo University of the Arts researchers, has continued to evolve.

Researchers have gone beyond just precisely duplicating works of art. Now, using cutting-edge technology and the fruit of their research, they are able to make them look exactly as they did when they were first created.

Their “super clone cultural properties” recreations include a Buddhist statue — designated as a national treasure — as it would have appeared 1400 years ago. Their works, in which digital technology and the artists’ craft are merged, are now attracting attention as a new form of art in their own right.

The “super clone” of the Shaka (Sakyamuni) triad statue, a national treasure at the Horyuji temple, was first publicly displayed on Apr. 10 at the Nagano Prefectural Art Museum.

There the replica now has the same shiny gold appearance as when it was created in 623. Lost or chipped curls of hair on the head of the statue’s central figure — as well as a small ball of hair on its forehead — have been restored and appear on the replica.

The position of the two smaller figures flanking the main one has been reversed in the replica, a decision based on how contemporary works were designed and other art history research findings. Flying heavenly maidens were also added around the halo behind the figures.

Highly advanced technology was used to create the replica. Granted permission by the temple and government authorities, researchers first used a high-definition digital camera and three-dimensional measurement to first collected data on the statue’s shape and used a digital modeling system to recreate parts that cannot be measured such as the figures’ backs and other damaged parts.

The researchers first built a prototype by assembling parts made using a 3D printer. X-ray fluorescence analysis of the composition of materials used in metal parts and their composition ratios enabled researchers to perfect the ratio of copper used in the casting, differing from the original composition by only several percent.

Based on the prototype, they completed the first clone of the statue. With original gold plating gradually falling off over the last 1400 years, local specialists in Takaoka copperware and Inami wood carving — traditional handicrafts — were enlisted to complete the casting and embellishing process.

The golden replica that finally went on show was made to even more faithfully reflect the original thanks to advanced 3D printing technology and an improvement in the casting method.

Japan's art "cloning" technology set to revamp global museums

Researchers are measuring dimensions at the Horyuji temple in 2014, on left, and an image created using incomplete measurement data. (Photos courtesy of Center of Innovation of the Tokyo University of the Arts)

While there is no way of proving the correctness of the shapes of the flying maidens and the decision to reverse the positions of the flanking figures, Tokyo University of the Arts Professor Emeritus Masaaki Miyasako, who led the creation of the replica believes it serves a very important purpose.

“I want to promote cultural understanding, helping people see what people in the Asuka era [from 552 to 645] were thinking (about the statue) as the object of worship” by creating a replica that incorporates every possible piece of knowledge learned from the research achievements and historic data that have been passed down, said Miyasako.

Japan's art "cloning" technology set to revamp global museums

A plastic prototype created using three-dimensional measurement data. (Photo courtesy of Center of Innovation of the Tokyo University of the Arts)

The research team that led the replica’s creation belong to the university’s Center of Innovation, which aims to create new ideas and methods by the fusion of arts and technology.

The university’s superior duplication, preservation and repairing techniques were coupled with cutting-edge technologies to create highly precise replicas of the artworks. The center calls them clone cultural properties and has developed super clones that recreate the works according to their original appearance.

For oil paintings, the center has developed an advanced technology to duplicate replicas including the precise contours of the oil paint, even duplicating the exact materials used, and for the frames as well. The method, for which they have obtained a number of patents, has created “clones” of Western paintings at France’s Musee d’Orsay and ukiyo-e Japanese woodblock prints at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston — with the museums’ permission. These clones have been on show in various locations across Japan.

With so many precious cultural properties and works of art not on show to the public to avoid deterioration of their conditions, such as the ukiyo-e woodblock prints and the Shaka (Sakyamuni) triad, there is growing interest in how the Tokyo University of the Arts’ advanced technology can help to not only preserve various cultural treasures but also show them in public.

In 2018, the university launched a company — its first such endeavor — that produces exhibitions and conducts negotiations with museums around the world on creating replicas of their most treasured assets.


Japan travel news, japan travel guides, japan holiday destinations and japan reviews

LATEST NEWS

NEWS RELATED

US is allowing some H-1B visa seekers to re-submit their applications

Some foreign guest workers in the US will be able to re-submit their applications for the H1-B visa, the most sought-after non-immigrant visa among Indian IT professionals, if their petition was solely rejected because it was based on the initial registration period, according to a federal agency. According to the…

Read more: US is allowing some H-1B visa seekers to re-submit their applications

Microsoft Windows 11 launching tonight: Here's how to watch the livestream and what to expect

Microsoft Windows 11 launching Tonight at 08:30 pm Microsoft is set to launch a new version of Windows at an event later on June 24. The event will take place via livestream, where the software giant is expected to launch Windows 11, the successor to Windows 10. Microsoft’s Windows event…

Read more: Microsoft Windows 11 launching tonight: Here's how to watch the livestream and what to expect

Reliance AGM: JioMart testing integration with WhatsApp, says Mukesh Ambani

Reliance’s e-commerce venture JioMart hit a single-day peak of 6.5 lakh orders, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani announced at the company’s 44th annual general meeting on Thursday. He said JioMart has brought online 3 lakh merchants and shopkeepers across 150 cities. Ambani also announced a set of integrations between WhatsApp…

Read more: Reliance AGM: JioMart testing integration with WhatsApp, says Mukesh Ambani

185 Million Chinese Men Follow Beauty Influencers, Pork Suppliers Slash Output, Guangzhou’s Rapid Covid Infection

Here is today’s ranking of the 10 most-read domestic stories in China, in economics, finance and current affairs. While these headlines can help give you a sense of what’s trending in the Chinese language sphere, the veracity and accuracy of the headlines hasn’t been independently verified by Caixin. Internet users…

Read more: 185 Million Chinese Men Follow Beauty Influencers, Pork Suppliers Slash Output, Guangzhou’s Rapid Covid Infection

Amazon Web Services expands partnership with Salesforce

New Delhi, Amazon Web Services on Thursday expanded its partnership with Salesforce making it easy for users to use the full set of Salesforce and AWS capabilities together to quickly build and deploy powerful new business applications that accelerate digital transformation.The partnership will drive customer value through new and enhanced…

Read more: Amazon Web Services expands partnership with Salesforce

Edtech startup Classplus raises $65 million from Tiger Global, others

Bengaluru: Edtech startup Classplus announced on Thursday that it has raised $65 million in a Series C round led by Tiger Global. GSV Ventures, along with existing investors Alpha Wave Incubation, Blume Ventures and RTP Global also participated in the round. This is the fourth round of funding the company…

Read more: Edtech startup Classplus raises $65 million from Tiger Global, others

TrailheaDX 2021 - Salesforce and AWS team up on development, Slack waits in the wings

Salesforce and Amazon Web Services announce a partnership with developer appeal - and when the Slack acquisition closes, the story could get even more interesting

Read more: TrailheaDX 2021 - Salesforce and AWS team up on development, Slack waits in the wings

Hong Kong's Apple Daily yields to 'inevitable fate'

HONG KONG — In its 1995 debut edition, Apple Daily’s inaugural editorial directly addressed the timing of its launch just two years ahead of Hong Kong’s scheduled return to Chinese rule — and the start of an uncertain era for the city’s previously freewheeling press. “We are afraid, but we…

Read more: Hong Kong's Apple Daily yields to 'inevitable fate'

Your Covid-19 vaccination certificate can now have your passport number: Here's how to add

Hong Kong's Apple Daily yields to 'inevitable fate'

Property developer signs deal to acquire Eastar

Food delivery, travel booking firms may come under India’s new e-commerce rules

Reliance AGM 2021 | JioPhone Next offers some category-first features, says Google

Microsoft to unveil first new Windows OS in six years

Saudi Arabia grants digital banking licenses to STC Pay and firm led by Artar

Bezos' 2021 Space Odyssey a risk too far for insurers

OTHER NEWS