On the top floor of the museum is an 3-D, digital, animated version of the famous classical Chinese painting "Along the River at Qingming Festival." The original scroll was painted by Song Dynasty artist Zhang Zeduan (1085-1145). Qingming Festival is also known as "Grave Sweeping Day." The many scenes depicted in the painting reveal the lifestyle of the Song Dynasty people and was one of the Last Emperor's favorite paintings. The original painting is now housed at the Forbidden City in Beijing.
The electronic version was first exhibited at the China Expo in 2010, for a period of three months. During that time, visitors would make a reservation and then wait for hours in order to see the digital mural in which the characters move. Every four minutes, the scene changes from night to day and back. The digital masterpiece is mesmerizing.
The original scroll is approximately ten inches high and close to six yards long. The electronic version is about 20 times that size. I did not have a lot of time when I most recently visited the China Art Museum. I spent about 20 minutes in the room that houses the digital piece. I could have spent all afternoon watching all the different scenes. "Featuring a total of 814 characters, 73 domesticated animals, more than 50 vehicles and boats, and some magnificent architecture including bridges and city walls on a 36 metre by 4.8 metre digital panel, visitors embark on a pictorial journey that slowly moves them from one scene to another, through bobbing boats, swaying willow trees, hard-working beasts of burden and touting vendors" (South China Morning Post, 9 July 2018).
Of course, the digital mural is just one piece on one floor of the enormous treasure trove of Chinese artwork. I am most inspired by the sculptures both outside, and inside, the pavilion.
It's quite obvious, by the lack of English translations on the artwork descriptions, that very few foreigners make the trip to this museum, but I believe it is well worth a few hours of time, perhaps even more compelling than the Shanghai Museum in People's Park.