Located in the Jinling Tourist Town in Nanjing, China, Wen Xin Pavilion is an exhibition centre to commemorate Xiao Tong, the “Crown Prince Zhaoming”, of the Liang Dynasty (AD 502 – 557).

Nanjing, formerly known as Jinling in ancient China, was famous for its architectural and cultural development during the Liang Dynasty. As a prominent scholar in Chinese history, Xiao Tong compiled “Wen Xuan”, a great collection of the earliest classical Chinese poetry. After studying the architectural details, cultural elements, various furnishings and art decorations of the Liang Dynasty, the interior architect converted the pavilion into a space of immersive experience to tourists through static exhibits, digital medias, and interactive performances.

To create an immersive atmosphere, lighting designers were challenged to seamlessly integrate conventional exhibition lighting with theatrical lighting and modern digital media. After adopting an intelligent lighting system, the lighting designer ensured that dynamic and multi-layered lighting would be precisely presented at the right place and the right time during various scenes.

Entering the pavilion, a grand ancient Chinese library presents the enduring legacy of the “Crown Prince Zhaoming”, the collection of “Wen Xuan”, in an elegant style from the Liang Dynasty. In the visiting scene, decorative lanterns on both sides of the hall are in warm white colour to create an atmosphere for evening reading. A large LED display in the middle is also merged into the library environment. During show time, the decorative lanterns and the LED display are synchronized through a DMX control system, creating a dynamic ritual scene.

In the basement, tourists can appreciate the elegant life of the literati during the Liang Dynasty. The performance features actors playing the lyre, chess, doing calligraphy, and painting. An indoor bamboo garden is also located at the entrance to the basement. Bamboo is a symbol of the ancient Chinese literati, representing elegance, perseverance, and integrity. The light and shadow of the living bamboo and the dynamic shadow of the virtual bamboo on the screen turn the garden into a fantastical, tranquil, and engaging space.

In the performance area, avoiding light interference with digital media and glare control are crucial to creating an immersive atmosphere. Low-power mini spotlights with adjustable beams and glare control devices are used to highlight the facial expressions of the actors, while concealed lighting illuminates the desks and bookshelves.

The multifaceted lighting approach plays a crucial role in the success of the Wen Xin Pavilion, which is an exceptional showcase of the integration of conventional cultural exhibition and immersive art.

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