Cultural exploration can take place in hybrid and changeable spaces, like the special exhibitions gallery of the Asian Civilisations Museum, which displayed Life in Edo | Russel Wong in Kyoto from April to October 2021. The special exhibition presents a juxtaposition of daily scenes – a contemporary life in the Edo period through woodblock prints, and a traditional present-day Kyoto through photographs - leaving the visitor to contemplate what is old, and new. With a large variety of works to showcase, the exhibition made use of digital displays and made sure the exhibition area would have the option of delicate object rotations, ensuring the exhibition stays up to date in its duration.
Both exhibitions meet at an interactive area for visitors to customise virtual woodblock prints, try photo editing and make wishes at the make-a-wish wall. Adopting an open concept, the interactive area recognised the need for space, and translated this in the use of anti-reflective glass screens for uninterrupted viewing from a distance. In light of the Covid-19 situation, all touch-screen multimedia devices were coated with anti-microbial treatment to ensure the safety of visitors.
Showcasing Russel Wong in Kyoto on deep-coloured panels, the vibrancy of his photography was brought to life as visitors were taken on a visual tour of the sights and sounds of Kyoto. On the other end of the exhibition, visitors experienced the sights and sounds of the Edo period in Life in Edo, with the variegated paintings and woodblock prints illuminated against the tastefully-hued exhibition panels that facilitated a thorough exploration of the exhibition.