Online museum shows off art

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 April, 2012, 12:00am


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Some 190 pieces of prominent local artwork are now just a click away.

The Google Art Project is expanding its virtual gallery to include Asian artists.

The Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum are among the project's latest partners. The online platform features more than 30,000 digitalised pieces of art from museums in more than 40 countries. Collections come from the Tate Britain in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The website allows art lovers to magnify and fully appreciate the finer details of art that might have escaped the naked eye. These include a tiny pendant's design and delicate brushwork. The technology has been borrowed from the Street View feature in Google Maps.

The project also lets art lovers take virtual strolls through the halls of 46 museums and famous public buildings, including the White House in Washington.

Hong Kong's museums do not feature in this function yet.

Users can browse artworks which have been divided into several categories, such as artists, artwork types, periods, museums and countries. They can even build their own virtual gallery.

Eve Tam Mei-yee, chief curator of the Museum of Art, says the new venture will not draw visitors away from museums. Rather, it will inspire them to actually visit museums.

'The Google Art Project makes art more accessible to the public and sparks interests in museums,' Tam said. 'It is, after all, a different experience to see three-dimensional works like sculptures in real life.'