Digital, intelligent technologies offer ancient Dazu Stone Carvings new look

CHONGQING, China, Aug. 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The 2022 Smart China Expo is held in southwest China’s Chongqing from August 22 to 24. Chongqing’s Dazu District participated in the expo with many local intelligent application achievements, including the monitoring and early warning system for Dazu Stone Carvings World Cultural Heritage Site, GIS visual control system and 8K ball screen movie ‘Dazu Stone Carvings’, according to the Publicity Department of Dazu District.

Thousands of Buddhist hands, like peacocks, surround Avalokitesvara statues. Impermanent big ghosts, with long two arms, embrace the reincarnation of all living beings in the six worlds. The 7-meter-high three saints of Huayan, due to the skillful use of mechanical principles by ancient craftsmen, Manjusri Bodhisattva and Samantabhadra Bodhisattva hold hundreds of pounds of stone towers without falling for thousands of years.

After 800 years of decay by the weather, visitors can still appreciate the profound connotation and unique temperament of Dazu stone carvings, and perceive the positive contribution of Dazu District, as a town of stone carvings, to the high-quality development of cultural relics protection, the inheritance and renewal of traditional culture, and the continuation of human civilization and art.

Dazu Stone Carvings, as the general name of all stone carvings in Dazu District of Chongqing, was built in the early Tang Dynasty and reached its peak in the Song Dynasty. Its more than 50,000 grotto statues represent the highest level of grotto art in the world from the 9th to 13th centuries AD. In 1999, it was included into the World Heritage List.

The thousand-hand Avalokitesvara, made in the Southern Song Dynasty, is the most famous statue in Dazu Stone Carvings. After more than 800 years, most statues in Dazu Stone Carvings are plagued with damages, and the thousand-hand Avalokitesvara suffers from 34 kinds of “bruises”. After nearly eight years of difficult restoration, the statue reappeared in a fresh look in 2015.

The increasingly rich protection and research of Dazu Stone Carvings have attracted global attention. China and Italy jointly set up a stone cultural relics protection center in Dazu, which started the cooperation attempt in the field of stone cultural relics protection and restoration between the two countries.

Digitalization and intelligence have injected new vitality into Dazu Stone Carvings. The monitoring and early warning system provides effective support and service for the management of Dazu Stone Carvings World Cultural Heritage, and improves the heritage protection, management ability and public service level. The GIS visual management and control system of Dazu Stone Carvings uses the perspective of three-dimensional spatial geography to display the cultural tourism resources of Dazu through the effect of data model, thus forming a three-dimensional management and control system on all fronts.

For the first time in the world, the 8K ball screen film ‘Dazu Stone Carvings’ uses the production method of “live footage + CG animation”, which converts the real space into digital space and combines the ball screen with 8K ultra-high-definition picture, thus bringing super audio-visual experiences to the audience.

In order to make Dazu Stone Carvings livelier, Dazu is stepping up the development of smart museums and smart scenic spots. The district has built a digital museum and a digital exhibition center and upgraded the portal websites, helping Dazu Stone Carvings to impress more people via the integration of more modern technologies and media platforms.