For ten days this fall, Bryant University will use virtual reality and painstakingly reconstructed replicas to bring an ancient Chinese cave and its artistic treasures to campus.
Dunhuang: An Oasis for East-West Cultural, Commercial, and Religious Exchanges Along the Ancient Silk Road opens Sept. 27 in the George E. Bello Center for Information and Technology. Bryant is the first academic institution in the United States to host this interactive exhibition.
The centerpiece is a replica of Cave 285 of the Mogao Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Gansu Province, China. This visually rich 6th-century cave is known for its exceptional collection of Buddhist artworks.
Through Oct. 6, guided tours will take visitors through the exhibition — a panoramic projection of the cave site — and into the reconstructed cave, an experience that will incorporate virtual reality. Events related to the exhibition include a series of seminars focusing on arts, culture, history, and religions represented in these caves.
Details about tour reservations and the complete calendar of events are forthcoming from the U.S.-China Institute at Bryant University.
Dunhuang was a melting pot of cultures and religions between the the 4th and 14th centuries. Travelers to Dunhuang dug caves into the nearby cliff faces, then decorated the caves with art in the hope of ensuring safety and success along the Silk Road. The result: The Mogao Caves house one of the world’s most extensive sites of Buddhist murals, statues, manuscripts, as well as art from Islamic and Greek cultures.