The Forbidden City without Walls: Web Community and Digital Projects at the Palace Museum, Beijing

Zhuang YU, China

In the late 1990s, the Palace Museum, Beijing launched an ambitious, multifaceted Digital Initiative that aims to broaden access to the museum’s site, the Forbidden City, as well as its 1.8 million treasures from the imperial collection and fast-growing programs to visitors both on site and online. Today, the museum’s award-winning website attracts over 400,000 visitors daily. Four million people are fans of the museum through social media, and its first app was downloaded 150,000 times in the first week after its release.

This presentation will highlight a few of the transformative projects that build a strong sense of connection and community to the museum through immersive and interactive experiences with iconic objects, particularly world-class Chinese paintings in the museum's collection. Interfacing with a huge population with complex demographics, Yu will also report on the progress of the Palace Museum Web Community Project. A leading expert in web design and digital project planning and management in China, Yu will share his insight into the unique challenges, resources, and opportunities in the museum web community at the time of a phenomenal museum boom in China.

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