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Google Asia Pacific Blog | Asian culture in the digital era

Since uniting 17 world famous art museums on its platform in 2011, Google Cultural Institute has come a long way and today brings together more than 700 cultural organizations from over 60 countries.

To understand how museums and archives are changing their relationships with an audience that consumes as much art on a screen as they do on a wall, we asked a researcher to speak with and develop case studies on several partners of the Google Cultural Institute in Australia, China, Korea and Russia.

Here's the full report and, below it, some key findings that caught our eye from the Asia-Pacific region.

Reaching new audiences
A museum can't travel at the speed of light, but digital versions of its collections can. Museums are beginning to hunt for new international audiences for their Web sites and appeal to a wider range of people who might be willing to travel to the museum.

For example, the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Australia saw its website traffic grow after it joined Google Cultural Institute in 2012, to the point that it has now received over a million views.
And the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Russia saw a 30% increase in the museum's website traffic within just a few days of joining the Google Cultural Institute back in 2011, with new audiences coming from Europe and America.

Museums are also convinced that these virtual visitors will be inspired to travel and explore their collections in real life. According to the Chinese Nanyue King Mausoleum Museum, the main goal of their participation in the project is to promote tourism in the country.

Revealing the unseenFew museums can boast a huge physical space able to host thousands of visitors at once. Moreover, many valuable artifacts remain largely unseen by the public in hidden vaults and archives. But, there are no boundaries like this in a virtual display. After joining the Google Cultural Institute in 2014, the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in South Korea was able to open up their great hidden collections, installations and virtual performances to a global Internet audience, thus circumventing the problem of a restricted physical space.

Bringing local heritage to an international audienceMany museums have found new ways of exporting local culture through Internet to communicate their values to the global art lover community on Google Cultural Institute. The Korean Film Archive has sought new ways of telling the world about classic Korean movies. Together with Google, the archive was able to extend their brand and the accessibility of Korean films to a global audience.

These are just a few stories that we found inspiring about the groundbreaking new ways of exploring Art and Culture online. To learn more, take a look at the full brochure or watch museums share their own experiences of going digital on the Google Cultural Institute YouTube channel.

Posted by Luisella Mazza, Program Manager, Google Cultural Institute

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