Qingming Scroll Interactive

The Cyrus Tang Hall of China, The Field Museum’s newest permanent exhibition, features 350 objects and spans 5,000 years of Chinese history and culture as told through an anthropological lens. In the third gallery, visitors explore how politics and social order affected everyday life throughout China’s imperial period and encounter the Qingming scroll, a 27-foot-long painting on silk. A thematic anchor to the gallery, the scroll is an artistic interpretation of life in 17th century Chinese society and offers glimpses into a world different but surprisingly familiar to modern viewers.

To provide a dynamic visitor experience, the project team designed a three-part installation that allows for deep and expansive exploration of an object that, for conservation reasons, can only have a small section displayed at any given time. The first element is the Qingming scroll itself, unrolled just enough to reveal one of it’s stunning scenes. Above the object case is a backlit printed version of the scroll gives visitors a closer look at the scene at nearly full scale, providing a sense of the scroll’s impressive length. The third element of the display is a 55-inch touch table featuring a digital version of the object that encourages visitors to explore the entirety of the Qingming scroll in 4K resolution. Produced entirely in-house, the table allows visitors to pan the length of the scroll, access informational pop-ups, and zoom in to investigate details.

The Qingming Scroll Interactive in Action.

Museum Guests using the Qingming Scroll interactive in the Field Museum's China Hall.