This free virtual gallery lets you curate your own online exhibition of Japanese art

Cultural Japan has over half a million resources for you to create your own online museum for free

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

The temporary closure of public facilities to minimise the spread of Covd-19 coronavirus earlier this year pushed galleries and art museums to bring their exhibitions online through virtual exhibitions. Now, with a new platform called Cultural Japan, you can actually curate your own exhibition of Japanese artworks and artefacts. 

Cultural Japan
Photo: Cultural Japan

Cultural Japan uses the International Image Interoperability Framework, a database with over 500,000 digital versions of Japanese artworks from 550 institutions around the world such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Stanford University Museum in California. There are famous ukiyo-e prints like Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’, as well as ancient artefacts dating all the way back to the Jomon period (14,000-300 BC). Accessible items aren't just limited to the visual arts either. Browse thousands of old maps, architectural models and rare books to add to your virtual collection.

To create your own gallery, find something you like in Cultural Japan’s extensive list of IIIF items, then simply copy the artwork's IIIF manifest URL and paste it into your virtual exhibition room. The website lets you create up to ten separate exhibition rooms in your gallery, which you can then walk through virtually on the website.

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