Digital Humanities


Digital Scrolling Paintings

Joruri Monogatari

Handscroll paintings, painted horizontally on pieces of silk or sheets of paper and mounted as scrolls, are a major type of traditional East Asian painting, distinctive in their format and method of viewing. Their creation is based on special principles that differ from those of painting single-framed pictures as they are continuous pictures that progress in space and time. Handscroll paintings are meant to be handled as well as seen–unrolled for viewing and rolled up for storage.

Because of the rare and fragile nature of these paintings, however, they are rarely shown. They cannot be handled by the public or exposed to light for extended periods in exhibitions. The Center for the Art of East Asia created this interactive site to simulate the experience of viewing handscrolls in ways that published photographs in books and projected slides cannot and to make them more widely accessible for teaching and research.

Top: Wireframe image of the tessellated 3D digital model of the South Cave, Northern Xiangtangshan. Xiangtangshan Caves Project, Center for the Art of East Asia, Department of Art History.