The Rubin Museum:

Gateway to Himalayan Art

Available on Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream and Oculus Go.

This Boulevard experience features seven works of art: six paintings and one sculpture, spanning from the 13th to the 19th century, displayed in a 3rd floor gallery at the Rubin Museum in New York City. These seven objects serve as an introduction to both Himalayan art and the key figures, symbols and concepts of Buddhism.

Users can move around the gallery space and study any painting or sculpture. A zoom feature for all objects allows for close looking; users can also rotate the statue to view it from any angle. A tablet offers extended written labels and information about the Rubin Museum of Art. The audio narration is provided by Academy Award nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal.

Users are able to explore further by activating the “double Os” on the wall to the left of the Mandala of the All-Knowing Buddha, Sarvavid Vairochana. A mandala is a symmetrical diagram of a divine palace that houses deities and exists only in the mind. Mandalas can be represented in two or three-dimensional form. Users can choose from two different experiences, both based on the Buddhist concept of imagining the sacred palace’s construction as a spiritual exercise.

  1.       In the Introductory Mandala experience a three-dimensional, “doll-house” version of the palace pops up and allows the user to rotate and explore the structure. This experience includes audio and text panels with information about the gardens, and palace quadrants, color symbolism, and more.

  2.     The Immersive Mandala experience allows the user to enter a vivid, mountainous scene, where they can move through the sacred garden and into parts of the palace – following the traditional direction of Buddhist walking meditation.