Visitors to CSMVS museum lie down on a custom-made couch and look up at the dome to view more than 60 fish-eye panoramic images of Mumbai’s grand heritage ceilings. Image Credit: Picture supplied

Mumbai: The historic museum in the heart of Mumbai will open up a new exhibition, Look Up Mumbai, which offers visitors a dramatic, digital art experience of stunning ceilings in the city’s iconic buildings.

Inaugurated by Maharashtra Governor Vidyasagar Rao on Wednesday, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghralaya (CSMVS), formerly known as Prince of Wales Museum, will focus on what for long has been taken for granted — the ceiling architecture of Mumbai’s heritage and contemporary buildings such as Gateway of India, Taj Mahal Hotel, Afghan Church, CST station (formerly Victoria Terminus), and others.

To see, in all its colour and exquisite detail, the cultural diversity of this city, visitors to the museum will lie down on a custom-made couch and look up at the dome to view more than 60 fish-eye panoramic images of Mumbai’s grand heritage ceilings as part of a 3D exhibition created and developed at University of New South Wales, Australia (UNSW).

The show offers a digital tour of the city’s varied architecture which includes churches, mosques, temples, government and industrial buildings, private homes and nightclubs.

International media artists UNSW Professor Sarah Kenderdine, Berndt Lintermann and Jeffrey Shaw, have created Look Up Mumbai in collaboration with Hong Kong photographer John Choy.

The team, in partnership with the JSW Foundation and CSMVS will stage the show under the museum’s own 18 metre-high ceiling dome, which itself is a fine example of the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture.

The exhibition is presented in DomeLab, the highest resolution touring full dome in the world. Both are created by Kenderdine who is a pioneer in interactive and immersive experiences of cultural heritage and director of UNSW Art and Design’s iGLAM (Laboratory for Innovation in Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums).

The idea of bringing in this experience for Mumbaikars and tourists started with Sangita Jindal, chairman of JSW Foundation in 2012 when she, together with the Foundation and Museum Victoria of Australia, Shaw and Kenderdine built the award-winning PLACE-Hampi installation at the Kaladhan museum in Vijaynagar. The success of this effort egged them on to this project in Mumbai.

According to Sabyasachi Mukerji, Director General, CSMVS, “Look Up Mumbai brings the museum-going experience into the digital age by incorporating technology without compromising on the principles of modern museum practices.”

Buildings featured include Holy Name Cathedral, Bombay High Court, Elephanta Caves, General Post Office, Haji Ali Dargah, Siddhivinayak Temple and Mumbai University Clock Tower.