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Turning Rust into Gold is inspired by a Chinese antique Mao-Kung Ting (cauldron) treasured by the National Palace Museum in Taiwan. Having a five-hundred-character inscription cast inside, and its weathered appearance made the Mao-Kung very unique. Motivated by revealing the great nature of the artifact and interpreting it into a meaningful narrative, we have proposed an interactive multimedia system that facilitates effective communication between museum audiences and the Mao-Kung Ting. Three technologies have been implemented to emphasize the weathered appearance of the bronze. De-/weathering simulation techniques have been deployed to revive the bronze to its original shiny gold color; while breath-based biofeedback and haptic technology have been utilized as user interfaces to trigger the de-weathering process of the Mao-Kung Ting. Also, the interactive scenarios have been designed with the Chinese cultural context and philosophy Qi, enabling users more easily fall into the Chinese civilization. The paper aims to present the development of the artwork Turing Rust into Gold, in order to further contribute to the feasibility of incorporating new media art in a historical museum context, and bring a new horizon in the museum sector.
Date of Conference: 19-23 July 2010