return icon

Digital technology bringing museums back to life

The museum sector is making use of the advancements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to attract visitors. Bui Hoai Son, Director of the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts talks on this issue.

Bui Hoai Son, Director of the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts.

As a policy and strategy consultant for the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on culture, especially in building dossiers for Hanoi to be recognised as a UNESCO creative city, how has the National Institute of Culture and Arts contributed to the application of technology in the protection of cultural heritage?

The fact that Hanoi became a member of the UNESCO Network of Creative Cities is of particular importance to the construction and development of Vietnamese culture and people and the capital. This is not only a fact that affirms Vietnam's cultural value on the world map but also helps the country be hand in hand with the biggest trend in cultural development - that is to take creativity as the nucleus for development.

However, it is necessary to take practical actions to implement commitments with UNESCO, to promote the strengths of the capital, especially to exploit cultural heritage values. The cultural heritage treasure of the capital is extremely massive with 5,922 monuments, 1,793 intangible cultural heritages and 1,206 festivals. Without efficient exploitation, we are not only at fault with the present generation, but also our ancestors and future generations.

Over the years, the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts has built a database of intangible cultural heritage for the country, on that basis, collecting 42 intangible cultural heritages of Hanoi, with 254 Betacam and DVCAM tapes, as well as 10 scientific films, digitised.

The application of technological achievements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the protection and promotion of heritage value not only helps better protect cultural heritage but also helps it come closer to the public. Thanks to the application of technology, young people - the public group that cultural managers want to influence the most to change perceptions and behaviour towards heritage - are excited to approach and enjoy the value of the cultural property. This is a good sign for us to apply technology to protect and promote heritage values ​​in a new context. 

Facing the trend of applying technology to promote the value of heritage, how are museums in Vietnam changing to better perform as important cultural institutions?

Museums are especially important for educating and disseminating the value and meaning of cultural heritage as well as the nation's traditions, helping the public better understand the country, culture and people. In any country, museum institutions are paid a lot of attention to and often considered as public cultural institutions, sponsored by the state.

In many countries, making museums attractive and drawing visitors has become the central task of cultural regulators and museums. Art education and public development for museums is a regular activity, and information technology makes these activities more interesting and lively. Therefore, digitising museums is a priority field. Major museums such as the Louvre (France), National Museum London (UK), Metropolitan Museum of New York (US), National Folk Museum of Korea and Museum of Chinese History have digitised most of their artworks in 3D and virtual tours, allowing viewers to use smart mobile devices to learn about the works, collections, authors and other information.

Recently, museums in Vietnam, especially in Hanoi, such as the National History Museum, Vietnam Fine Arts Museum and Ethnology Museum, have tried their best to apply technology to display activities, creating a great attraction. Art education and public development have been noticed by museums by offering many programmes and products applying new technologies.

The implementation of digitalisation applications and virtual museums through 3D models helps visitors better understand the author, work or context, critiques related to heritage, works of art, even restore ruins that are normally difficult to imagine, such as the Ly palace system in the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long or a 3D model of Dien Huu Pagoda. 

Can you share more about the work the National Institute of Culture and Arts of Vietnam has been doing to help museums attract visitors?

We realise that the unit itself must become a digital organisation, with close links with domestic and foreign organisations. Since 2020, the institute has worked with the Korea Intangible Cultural Heritage Center (ICHCAP) - one of the three UNESCO regional centres in Asia, to develop the institute's data bank into a satellite station of UNESCO in the Asia-Pacific region. We have digitised intangible cultural heritages in a common format, sharing data on ICHCAP's information network with 10 member countries. International co-operation helps us better understand our situation, improving our operations and connecting with museums.

The institute is supporting the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology to digitise a number of materials to increase the attractiveness of this museum's exhibitions. Since there are digital products that show artefacts, visitors are more excited about the experience and coming to the museum. In addition, the institute is about to complete the construction of an electronic portal to connect, provide information and animate museum activities.

The application of technology has created new vitality for museum activities, which has long been considered as less innovative and not attractive.  


Vietnamese museums apply digital technologies to attract visitors

Vietnamese museums apply digital technologies to attract visitors

Not only display pictures and movies, museums have nowadays applied digital technologies which are opening up new dimensions of the museum experience to attract visitors especially youngsters who are inclined to learn about history in museums.

Collections to be displayed online for International Museum Day

Collections to be displayed online for International Museum Day

Museums in Vietnam will hold various activities to celebrate International Museum Day on May 18, following plans by the International Council of Museums (ICOM).


Localizing construction of high-speed railways contributes to growth

Building a high-speed railway (250km/h) will facilitate the development of the entire railway industry, experts said.

A majestic pagoda in Tra Vinh Province

Phno Don is one of the biggest and most majestic of the 143 pagodas in Tra Vinh Province. It is a splendid example of Khmer architecture.

Vietnamese ICT enterprises more deeply involved in global value chain

Over 10 years ago, Vietnamese software companies performed only a few stages under orders from foreign partners but the work has now expanded.

China proposes re-signing protocol for seven kinds of Vietnamese fruit

China has proposed signing protocol for seven types of local fruit exported to the northern neighbour via official channels for stricter management, as is currently applied to durian and star apples.

10-year-old translator brings scientific knowledge closer to young readers

Children’s history book series, Unstoppable Us, by best-selling author Yuval Noah Harari, has been translated from English into Vietnamese by a 10-year-old translator and published by Omega Plus.

Floods kill five in central region

Heavy downpours and floods in the central region in the past few days claimed the lives of five people as of 5pm on December 6.


Vietnam spends nearly 190 million USD on importing pork in ten months

Vinfast faces challenges in North America

North America is a promising market, but it is not easy to be successful because there are many rivals there.

Festivities celebrate holiday season in HCM City

HCM City is preparing to launch a series of festivities to celebrate the New Year and Tet holidays (Lunar New Year).

Young driver offers thousands of free rides for poor patients

Dang Xuan Hieu, 24, has for four years given free trips to thousands of poor patients in Ha Giang Province.

Policies take effect in December 2022

Below are among new policies on import and export nomenclature, electricity generation price bracket, and licenses to manufacture tobacco products taking effect from December.

Finance Ministry to raise taxes on land and housing

Taxes on land and housing in Vietnam are far lower than those in other countries, exposing the need for higher tax rates to improve fiscal revenues.

Vietnam, RoK enter new chapter of cooperation

Vietnam and the Republic of Korea have entered a new chapter in their relationship as they upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership during President Nguyen Xuan Phuc's official visit to the country.

Free piano class for the elderly in HCM City

A piano class has been run free-of-charge for elderly people in Ho Chi Minh City for the past five years.