France's first digital museum L'Atelier des Lumières, is a 3D multisensory experience dedicated to fine art. Writes Dennis Lee
Hot on the heels of the world's first digital art museum, the Mori Building Digital Art Museum in Tokyo, France has opened one of its own. L'Atelier des Lumières, or 'Workshop of Light', is a state-of-the art museum that marries art and digital technology.
It was created by French museum foundation Culturespaces, which specialises in immersive art and cultural experiences, in a 19th-century former foundry in eastern Paris. Its inaugural exhibitions are devoted to Austrian painter Gustav Klimt and a century of Viennese painting, ranging from works by Egon Schiele to Friedrich Stowasser, better known as Hundertwasser.
Using 140 laser video projectors, the artists' colourful and expressive artworks are projected across 3,300sqm of surface area, turning the 10m-high walls, floors and an illuminated water tank into a 360-degree canvas for the paintings. Visitors are engulfed in both the visual images and a soundtrack of classical music from an innovative 'motion design' sound system of 50 speakers.
Such multisensory exhibitions are part of a global trend to change how people experience art and aimed at attracting younger audiences. Culturespaces is already planning two more digital museum sites, one in France and another in a former bunker in Jeju, South Korea, due to open at the end of this year.