In 2010, the Centre for Fine Arts – Brussels (BOZAR) with the support of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) organised an exhibition called A Passage to Asia: 25 centuries of exchange between Asia and Europe, alongside the 8th Summit of the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM8) in Brussels. This brilliant exhibition presented over 300 precious artefacts, which illustrated beautiful examples of cultural heritage as well as vibrant exchanges between the two regions. Helmed by Dr. Jan van Alphen and Dr Kenson Kwok, this exhibition resulted in an enormous multilateral cooperation project which brought together over 70 museums from 16 Asian ASEM countries.
In 2021, this exhibition has been adapted to the virtual medium, as the global pandemic has limited physical interactions all over the world. It was developed by BOZAR with the support of the European Union and the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF).
Bringing together 18 artefacts for this digital adaptation, the curators faced an uphill task to adapt the multitude of themes from the 2010 exhibition to only seven for the virtual edition. With the below themes, they aimed to retain the message of meaningful cultural exchange between Asia & Europe in this digital exhibition:
- Caring for the deceased
- Gandhara, where two great cultures met
- Southeast Asia, world philosophies as artistic inspiration
- Refinements from the monasteries
- Important streams of thoughts visualized
- Arms to protect, arms to empower
- Global activity, the intercontinental overseas trade
Based on the available data and photographic material from the previous assemblage of objects, a virtual and purely digital form of exhibition was conceived by BOZAR. With the two-dimensional photographs, high-tech designers created a 3-D image of the objects, along with labels, audio and visual context, all to be navigated interactively by the public.
Enjoy exploring this fascinating exhibition of objects in 3-D in the rich context of our common past. And if you have a VR set, you can view the exhibition in a completely immersive environment.