"Fantastic layout apropos to the content with clean lines that help to showcase an exhaustive gallery. The load times were a bit much, but it was easy to forgive because of the level of detail the site allows you to see in each piece." —juror Robert Hodgin
"The click-and-drag interface is finally catching on as a way of exploring vast amounts of data. Google Maps shows a practical approach and this site offers a beautiful alternative." —juror Jeffrey Veen
Overview: This digital museum uses a functional approach to allow researchers (and curious visitors) to view rare artworks with the highest possible clarity. Each image can be magnified to show extremely fine detail.
• 71 representative works, 1,862 pieces of documentary evidence
• Magnification and image file dimensions based on XML document definition
• Individual works divided into as many as 15,000 image files
Comments by Digital Media Concept Corp. and National Palace Museum, Taipei:
"Chinese paintings that survived from the Northern Sung period (c. 960 -- 1127), approximately one thousand years ago, are exceptionally rare. The National Palace Museum, however, is home to a collection of such works that is not only exceptional in number, but also in quality, ranking it as the foremost in the world.
"As a service to collectors around-the-world, who appreciate and research Chinese art, the latest in digital technology has been used in this project to provide quick and convenient zooming capabilities for 71 select, representative works of the Northern Sung.
“The idea was to provide the public with a realistic view of Northern Sung artworks. Transfer rates, and efficient use of technology, were the main concerns for this project. Our strategy was to reduce an image into parts, then arrange the parts through ActionScripting and utilize XML to show all the features and seal descriptions for both painting and calligraphy.
"Enlarged images help visitors focus on the details when browsing artwork, but enlarging them brought unexpected challenges to the building of this site. During the development process we encountered software limitations when the images were fragmentized; we reduced each piece many different times and wrote a program in PHP to align the images fragmentized at different times.
"In the end, the site provides for options beyond a traditional display and the technology provides the best support for presenting quality images. Any perception of this site as an art piece in and of itself only serves to prove the even greater beauty of these works from the Northern Sung."