Japan launches new 3D Buddhist temple

A Buddhist temple in Kyoto is showing its historic statues in 3D on iPads in a bid to supply 21st century approval of the artefacts.

The project has been commenced at Byodoin, one of the country’s oldest temples meeting back almost 1,000 years and a selected UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Five iPads have been fitted together with a sequence of historic Buddhist monuments in the temple, placed in the Kyoto region, demonstrating images of the artworks in three-dimensional form.

The artworks form element of a group of 52 wooden monuments titled Bosatsu on Clouds, which were formed in 1053 and have been confirmed National Treasures by the Japanese government.

A laser scanner was used to detain the images of five of the prehistoric artworks from the front, back and sides, in order to allow visitors to understand the complexity of the craftsmanship from all angles.

The end result, represents on the iPad tablets, illustrates the now discolored ancient wooden sculptures in all their innovative 11th century beauty, rich in colour and perfect in form. Conversely, the figures are presented at a high level and complicated for visitors to view well.

Monsho Kamii, a priest at Byodoin, said: "I required people to be capable to feel the artistic values that date back a thousand years by using computer graphics to reconstruct how these sculptures initially looked."

The sculptures are supposed to have been initially created by Jocho, the highly praised 11th century artist and master of religious statues who is generally accredited with redefining Buddhist artistic quality in Japan.

The 52 Bosatsu on Clouds, each calculating approximately 25 ins in height, emerge to stay close in the air adjacent a larger central sculpture of Amida Buddha meeting on a lotus at Byodoin Temple.

The occurrence of iPads in a historic old temple is possibly a side effect of Japan's status as a nation well-known both for its hi-tech modernity and its rich cultural tradition.

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