SOAS University of London

SOAS Brunei Gallery uses mixed reality to bring ancient cultures and practices to life in two new exhibitions

9 October 2018
Living zoroastrianism

The Brunei Gallery at SOAS University of London will be using Virtual Reality (VR) headsets and 3D Printing for the first time to give visitors a tour of pre-Islam Iran and Neolithic Turkey.

Living Zoroastrianism provides an immersive experience of the rituals and practices of the oldest monotheistic religion in the world. The VR headset puts the visitor in the centre of the Yasna - the central ritual of the Zoroastrian faith which symbolises the journey of the soul.

The exhibition is part of Chouette Films’ work with the Multimedia Yasna Project (MUYA) headed by Professor Almut Hintze at SOAS and funded by the European Research Council. The heart of the project is to find innovative ways to document and preserve a tradition which is very much alive – although hidden from everyday view. The project aims to create an online platform where students of Religions and practicing Zoroastrians can engage with the religion in a detail never achieved before. Other highlights include sound experiences of Zoroastrians from Iran speaking about their lives, and a show of Zoroastrian artefacts and manuscripts from Iran and India.

Çatalhöyük at Brunei Gallery

The Curious Case of Çatalhöyük

Çatalhöyük is a UNESCO World Heritage site that only welcomed its first excavation team in the 1960s. Using 3D modelling techniques, The Curious Case of Çatalhöyük takes visitors directly to the excavation site of an ancient Neolithic settlement in central Turkey which dates back 9000 years.

The exhibition is as much about the history and the culture of the people who inhabited these lands as it is about the excavation site itself. The Curious Case of Çatalhöyük documents the life of an excavation site from digging the soil, to laboratory analysis to 3D modelling of finds - all of which are artistically displayed in the Brunei Gallery.

The exhibition marks the 25th excavation season of the Çatalhöyük Research Project and aims to showcase the modern reconstruction methods that the site employs to understand more about Central Turkey’s exciting past.

This is the first time the Brunei Gallery has held an exhibition showcasing new technology which aims to engage new audiences in innovative ways. Both shows run from 12 October to 15 December 2018.