China National Silk Museum held the Silk Road Online Curating Competition from April to July 2022, co-organized by Shanghai University and supported by Manycore Tech Inc. (KOOL). The competition attracted the participation of over 120 universities including Peking University, Fudan University, Zhejiang University, University of the Arts London and many other universities, as well as more than 20 museums and a large group of designers. 127 online exhibitions were curated and divided into Cultural Heritage and Museology Group and Design Group with the two groups awarded respectively.
The competition is powered by the Silk Road Online Museum (SROM) platform, a platform with its main concepts focusing on “digital collaboration” and “3D online curating”. It has brought together more than 2,000 digital artifacts from more than 40 museums worldwide. Curators and designers can design and curate exhibitions through the SROM platform by selecting artifacts from the Digital Collection, doing extensive academic research, building or selecting a gallery, selecting glass showcases, arranging display tools, writing explanation labels, and finally creating a 3D virtual exhibition. Additionally, the exhibition works can also be shared on social media, thus attracting more audiences.
The Silk Road Online Curating Competition culminated on the evening of July 8, with an award ceremony held in the China National Silk Museum. At the ceremony, Liu Shuguang, President of the Chinese Museums Association/ICOM-China, commented, “this is such an innovative competition that is in the breast with this digital age. And it is also such a cheerful gathering of emerging curators, from which we can see their passion and dedication toward the Silk Road culture.”
Director of China National Silk Museum Dr. Zhao Feng, and also the Chair of the Competition Organizer, said, “from SROM and the competition, I hope museums in the future could be
more accessible, collaborative, and transparent, to help building a more democratic and hybrid museum curating and education system.”
Since its establishment in 2021, SROM platform has not only been active in fostering collaboration among museums, but also in bringing the influence of museums into universities and society. The competition has attracted numerous applicants and who have gone on to become “Digital Curators”. They have energized the SROM platform and empowered it to display more deeply its creative functions, making the platform more user-based and sustainable.