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KNMA is delighted to launch virtual tours for viewers to digitally experience museum exhibitions. With simple, user-friendly, navigation tools, the new 360 degree panoramic and 3D walkthroughs of our exhibitions offer viewers the opportunity to move through, look around the museum space and explore artworks at their own pace.
It is a rare opportunity for those waiting for the reopening of the museum and a great enabler for all art-enthusiasts and researchers. As we embrace the uncertainty of these unprecedented times during the pandemic, we believe in the transformative power of art and reach out to our audience with another shared virtual experience in art. The viewer can zoom in and take a closer look at a work of art, read texts, labels, watch related videos, discover lesser-known facts about the artists and their practices and experience the exhibition in a new way. The navigation tool allows one to jump from one exhibition to another, to hop through different galleries of the museum, view artworks from multiple angles and also experience the space through VR glasses.
This launch of virtual tours is an effort to bring the four exhibitions, which opened at KNMA, Saket, in February 2020 to the virtual world. They were curated as a celebration of the ten year anniversary of the museum. It offers those who visited the physical space of exhibits another look, as well as those who could not visit the opportunity to do so virtually. It is an homage to eminent artist Zarina, who passed away in April this year, making the KNMA exhibition ‘Zarina: A Life in Nine Lines’ her last one. Viewers will now get the chance to explore her impressive and reflective oeuvre at their own pace and time. Along with it, are three more exhibitions ‘Abstracting Nature’ showcasing rare etchings and drawings of Mrinalini Mukherjee and mesmerizing installations of Jayashree Chakravarty, ‘Line Beats and Shadows’ with works of four contemporary women artists working on abstraction: Lala Rukh, Ayesha Sultana, Prabhavathi Meppayil and Sumakshi Singh. The fourth exhibition is ‘Right to laziness… No, strike that! Sidewalking with the man saying sorry’, which is the third in the series of our new initiative ‘Young Artists of Our Times’.
Kiran Nadar, Founder and Chairperson, KNMA says, “It is a new moment for us. With our virtual tours we are taking the museum to the people, to their homes and devices, whoever has access to internet on their mobile phone, desktop or laptops. Though it is close to the feeling of being there, one cannot replace the tremendous joy of being in close physical proximity to an artwork and the sensory field that opens up. At KNMA we are very sensitive to these humane and humanizing aspects of arts, and that is why our outreach activities have grown and are more engaging than ever before.”
“It is scintillating that a viewer can explore Zarina’s entire life’s philosophy, work and abstract renditions of her idea of ‘home’ from the interiors of their own homes. This brings a remarkable new reading and relevance to Zarina’s work. We are all very excited about the new possibilities that this digital connectivity is opening for the museum-world. At KNMA, our effort has always been to make the museum a space of confluence and conversations. In these testing times, it is all the more urgent for us to keep performing that role virtually. We hope that this form of access to museum exhibitions, collections and talk programs, will help us connect with our audience in newer ways and generate dialogue,” says Roobina Karode, Director and Chief-Curator, KNMA.
Applications of VR technology across industries have risen at an unprecedented scale. However, the use of this technology for the democratisation of art is a resurgent phenomenon for galleries and museums across the globe, especially in the post-COVID world that we now live in. KNMA worked with BongWater Films, a VR film studio based in New Delhi, to craft this virtual experience, keeping in mind remote accessibility, viewer engagement and interactivity for contextualising the meticulously curated exhibits. This confluence of technology and art is the need of the hour, especially for museums and arts institution.