An exhibit interactive and Web site piece together a rare Japanese scroll for visitors to explore, transcribe, translate, and understand in its entirety.

Produced for the Five Masterpieces of Asian Art: The Story of their Conservation exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, these interactives provide enhanced access to a masterpiece in the collection, Poem Scroll with Deer, created by two prominent Japanese artists in the 1610s. On seventy-two feet of paper, Tawaraya Sotatsu used gold and silver pigments to depict deer in various poses and Hon’ami Kōetsu inscribed twenty-eight autumn poems amidst the drawings.

Visitors can navigate through the entire scroll—digitally recombined from disparate pieces in different collections—and explore the remarkable art in great detail. By dragging a magnifier over the scroll in the touch screen a magnified image is displayed on a large synchronized overhead display. In poem mode, the interface jumps from stanza to stanza, transcribing each and translating the words and interpretation into English or contemporary Japanese. In conservation mode, five sections explain the process of conserving the scroll with before and after pictures showing the repairs.

For complete project credits visit: secondstory.com/portfolio/works/poem-scroll-with-deer

Seattle Art Museum

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