Guardians of Dunhuang (3)

By Wu Chaolan, Gao Ge (People's Daily Online) 09:53, November 05, 2021

(People's Daily Online/Lin Shanshan)

In the digital center of Dunhuang Academy, employees are working on digitization projects, turning the dust-laden cultural relics into digital products. Chen Xin is one of them. Chen has been working at the cultural relic digitalization institute of Dunhuang Academy for more than four years and is responsible for processing data on the murals.

"Using modern technology to conserve these cultural relics and make them come alive is our goal," said Chen. "We hope we can save these ancient artworks permanently and make them accessible to future generations."

Growing up in this ancient Silk Road city, Chen was constantly exposed to Dunhuang culture, as the city is inundated with replicas of Mogao murals and sculptures. "When I was young, I knew my hometown was a world-famous tourist city," he said. "It was when I took this job that I finally understood its real charm that attracts millions of visitors."

People often ask Chen why he chose this job, which seems tedious to outsiders. For Chen, the answer is obvious: it contributes to the protection of Dunhuang culture. "When I read a biography of Fan Jinshi, honorary director and fellow of the Dunhuang Academy, I resonated strongly with one sentence - choose one thing for the rest of your life," said Chen. The quote is like a constellation showing Chen the way ahead.

"It is wonderful to think that one day my digital project will be displayed in an exhibition, passing on the stories and culture of Dunhuang to the next generation," said Chen. "This is the meaning of my work."


(Web editor: Wu Chaolan, Liang Jun)


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