GLAMi nomination: Resound: Ancient Bells of China (Interactive)

nominated by: Ryan King, Smithsonian Institution, USA
institution: Smithsonian Freer|Sackler Museums of Asian Art
category: Exhibition Media or Experience

Though visitors will not get to hear the bells being rung live in our new exhibition of Chinese bronze bells, recordings made in 1991 of the 12 tones of the museum’s six-bell set have been digitally analyzed and remastered to create an interactive exhibit. Using a touch screen, visitors can virtually ring the bells and create music with them.

Featured in Smithsonian Magazine, the interactive brings the bells to life enabling them to be played virtually. The large multitouch panel is situated in front of the original bells and across from a projection of audio-visual works commissioned for the exhibition using the tones.

The URL provided in the submission field is the staging code for the interactive so you can get an experience of what occurs. The in-gallery version is loaded on a 64″ multi-touch screen and situated in front of the actual bells on display.

Exhibition landing page:


visitors using Bells touchscreen interactive
Visitors using the multi-touch screen interactive


arrangement of touchscreen and bells in exhibition
Arrangement of touchscreen and bells in exhibition.