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3D technology helps visually impaired students connect to art

The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, which has been actively promoting equal cultural rights in recent years, opened the museum’s first exhibition incorporating 3D printing with traditional printmaking – “Good Year with Good Fortune: Year of Rooster Inspired Prints” – on Jan. 19.

In addition to turning 2D prints into 3D ones, the exhibition also offers audio tours by veteran narrator Chao Yu-tzu (趙又慈) to provide access to visitors who are visually impaired.

As part of the opening ceremony, the museum invited Deputy Culture Minister Dr. Pierre Tzu-pao Yang (楊子葆) and students from Taichung Municipal Taichung Special Education School for the Visually Impaired to enjoy the exhibition.

Deputy Minister Yang noted that NTMoFA has carried out its "Non-Visual Exploration Activities for Visually Impaired People" program for three years to promote cultural rights, which serves as a good example for other museums.

It is a museum’s responsibility to advocate cultural equality by making art available and accessible to everyone, added Yang.

This year, a special section has been added to showcase three works that have jointly won first prize – “Fortuitous Song & Dance of Spring (吉啼舞春)” by Fan Quan-you (范銓祐), “Contentment and Fulfillment (知福富足)” by Jin Yu-ci (金昱慈), and “Songs of Spring (鳴春)” by Yang Wen-yu (楊紋瑜).

The section has been designed to give visitors an all-immersive experience by employing all five senses. The three artworks have not only been turned into 3D prints and 3D models, the displays also combine interactive air projections with free mobile applications to fully engage visitors. 

Deputy Director Chen Chao-jung (陳昭榮) of NTMoFA noted that annual visitors have reached one million in 2010, and that number is gradually growing every year. Last year, it received more than 1.3 million visitors.

Therefore, NTMoFA has been devoted to enhancing the quality and presentation of its exhibitions. The Chinese New Year exhibition is expected to bring audiences a brand-new experience by engaging all five senses and integrating 3D printing technology, added Chen.

The 3D printing technology used in this exhibition is sponsored by the Institute for Information Industry and the Industrial Development Bureau under the Ministry of Economic Affairs. An application for 3D printing models is also available on http://fastlab.tw/.


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Veteran narrator Chao Yu-tzu (pictured above, left) provided a vivid description of each Chinese New Year print on display.
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