Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tourism in SL

I love when people use the tools of SL to create fantastical and otherworldly creations that could never exist in RL, but I love it just a little bit more when someone re-creates something from RL in SL. I found the SL Eiffel Tower to be as lovely and romantic as its RL counterpart, and I followed the same path out of the train station in RL Amsterdam when I was there as I had in SL Amsterdam. I really enjoy being able to (virtually) visit a site I may never have the chance to see in RL. So it was with real pleasure that I discovered the Terracotta Warrior Army of Xi'an, China.

The Terracotta Warrior Army is "a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China." This UNESCO World Heritage site has thousands of warriors, generals, and horses, standing in formation in excavated pits. The site has been produced in SL on a slightly smaller scale by Pravda Core with impressive detail and is well worth visiting.

The entrance to the subterranean site is a simple dip into the ground, not unlike the entrance to a mine shaft. 
The opening to the Terracotta Warriors Army exhibit doesn't reveal much about what's to come.

One then descends into the earth, moving lower and lower through levels of steps and landings, until arriving into a vast open room, dimly light from skylights above, and populated by hundreds of figures of men and horses.

Moving down the tunnel from the entrance.

Hundreds of figures lie beneath the ground.
There's something very moving about the silence and stillness of this creation, and the artist has done an excellent job of evoking the sombre mood of a tomb.

I don't know how long the exhibit will be in place, so I recommend dropping in to see it before it's gone. (see update below)The Tenth Rua sim that houses the exhibit is also home to the creator's shop, PRAVDA Dark Couture, which sells gothic and vampiric statues, sculptures, and buildings. It seems like it's still in the process of being established, but there are several structures to view and a handsome, low-prim skybox freebie, so if your tastes run that way, it's also worth checking out.

UPDATE: The very kind creator of the Terracotta Warriors has let me know that the installation is a permanent addition and an expansion of his shop, which includes Asian statues. PRAVDA Dark Couture has actually been in business since 2009 but recently moved to this new sim. The shop specializes in sculptures, structures, and builder's kit sculpts, so please check it out as well when you visit the sim.

The Terracotta Warrior Army can be found at Tenth Rua 80, 172, 1272

1 comment:

  1. I visited this exhibit as a result of the Blithe blog, and although I expected to see something well-fashioned, I was completely unprepared at how moving the Terracotta Warriors would truly be. As I descended through the tunnel, I passed through a dark, somber area that triggered a switch in my attitude toward the exhibit. It was as if I was seeing the warriors and horses through a time-machine, floating above a still-shot of the armies of Quin Shi Huang. As I walked through the trenches, I found myself wondering if this is how Huang viewed the men and horses in his army? Did he view them as emotionless, feelingless objects put on this earth to do his bidding? Or was he able to look deeper and see each one of them individually, as a person or an animal that he was to consider?

    I found myself eventually contemplating whether or not I would have had the capacity to be born into a role such as Emperor Huang's. Would I be able to do what he or any other leader must?

    I left the exhibit the same way I entered, taking the time to climb back up the stairs instead of merely teleporting away. Over an hour had passed and I left with more questions and contemplations than I came with.

    Thank you for posting this location. It was truly thought-provoking, moving, and worth my time to experience!