Canon Technology at Cultural Heritage’s Service

Since 2007, the Japanese enterprise has made its know-how available to promote art and cultural heritage

August 10th, 2016
Valentina De Gregorio, CD News

Canon and the Kyoto Culture Association (NPO) started up a joint project called the Cultural Heritage Inheritance Project, also known as Tsuzuri Project, which aims at reproducing important Japanese masterpieces in order to make them available to the public.

The Tsuzuri Project has been created in 2007 in order to replicate precious cultural assets, normally not accessible to all. To do that, the project uses a Canon digital SLR camera to capture artworks, including folding screens and sliding door paintings, and print out a full-scale reproduction of them. In this way, the original structures are kept in a protected environment, while their high quality copies can be sent to museums or institutions.

Anyway, not every masterpiece can be reproduced. The project usually divides cultural assets in two different categories: the first one called “Japanese cultural assets held overseas”, and the second one called “Cultural assets as living aids for teaching Japanese history”. An example taken from one of these two sections is the work called “Scene of Rice Cultivation” by Kano Sanraku: once kept in the Daikakuji Temple, now it is hosted in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in the United States.

One of the project stakeholders, Seison Hattori, says that he’s very grateful “that the Scene of Rice Cultivation has been able to come back home after 250 years. I was simply amazed when I saw the reproduction process. Various specialists were working together to create these realistic reproductions by blending the latest technologies with traditional skills”. In fact, the Kyoto Culture Association and Canon combine their competences to transmit beautiful works to future generations, keeping alive the interest for art.


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