Ancient warriors marching into the future
There is an earthen pit, with thousands of terracotta warriors and horses lined up in battle order.
It's not in Xian, but scenes from a multimedia show that brings Xian's terracotta army to Hong Kong, in virtual reality.
The show is part of an exhibition on the Qin emperor, called The Majesty of All Under Heaven: The Eternal Realm of China's First Emperor, that opens soon at the Hong Kong Museum of History in Tsim Sha Tsui.
'Visitors will feel as if they're floating in the air, witnessing hundreds of thousands of coolies building the terracotta army pits and the damage caused to them over more than 2,000 years,' said Teng Jie, exhibition director with the Crystal Computer Graphics company, which created the multimedia show.
Crystal Computer Graphics also created the animated version of the painting Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival, which drew 900,000-plus visitors to AsiaWorld-Expo in 2010.
Its four-minute show for the new exhibition is projected on a panoramic screen 22 metres wide and four metres high. It is one of six multimedia programmes prepared for the exhibition, which will display more than 120 Qin dynasty artefacts, including real terracotta warriors.
'The exhibition is a perfect crossover of ancient history and modern technology,' Leisure and Cultural Services Department director Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee said yesterday.
Another multimedia show will recreate the original colours of the warriors by projecting lights on enlarged duplicates of the sculptures. Visitors will be able to 'paint' the warriors using touch screens.
Few people know that the monochrome terracotta armies we see today were originally painted in many colours; the paint has faded and peeled off over the centuries.
The exhibition opens on July 25 and will run for four months. Ticket bookings have begun, and Fung estimates 400,000 visitors will attend.
The show is co-organised by the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Centre. The Hong Kong Jockey Club donated HK$11 million for the multimedia programmes.