While the Palace of Versailles is 14 hours away in Paris, France, it is still possible to get a glimpse of the grandeur and pomp of the royal estate at the Virtually Versailles exhibition at ION Orchard, at least until Sunday, 6 January 2019.
Virtually Versailles is a digital experience which takes visitors on a tour of the Palace of Versailles. It is the result of a collaboration between the Palace of Versailles and ESSEC Business School. We paid the exhibition a visit to (digitally) experience its splendours for ourselves.
The corridor leading to the Virtually Versailles exhibition at ION Art is lined with snippets of facts about the Palace. The first part of the exhibition was quite dense with information about the history and development of Versailles. Once a hunting lodge, it was transformed by Louis XIV, the Sun King, into a radiant palace fit for the French kings.
As we entered in, we could not help but notice the scent in the air. Named “Royal Delight”, the scent was created based on orange blossom, Louis XIV’s favourite flower, with hints of honey.
Through the use of large touch screens, it is possible to explore and learn more about the Palace, its furnishing and art in a multimedia gallery.
The Gardens of Versailles
Technology also allowed us to cycle through a virtual re-creation of Versailles’ famous gardens.
One of the most impressive displays at Virtually Versailles was a room with 360-degree floor and ceiling LED displays which transported us to famous rooms within Versailles. It was mesmerising to be magically transported to locations such as the Hall of Mirrors and Venus Room.
Innovations at Virtually Versailles
The exhibition continued at ION Sky on the 55th floor. A nice touch inside the express elevator was video footage which provided an elevated view of Versailles grounds and its canal as we travelled upwards.
The second part of the Virtually Versailles exhibition casts light on the link between Versailles and Innovation. It was, therefore, appropriate that this was where the Virtual Reality experiences were found.
Putting on VR goggles, we were taken, digitally, to Versailles. The Versailles VR experience was developed in collaboration with The Lab at Google Arts & Culture in Paris and captures the Palace in digital detail.
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Virtually Versailles is an innovative and immersive exhibition. It invites exploration and is best enjoyed slowly, soaking in the information about French culture and traditions. For the less patient, there is still enough digital wizardry at the exhibition to entertain and engage while on a casual walkthrough.
The Virtually Versailles exhibition at the ION Art Gallery ends on Sunday, 6 January 2019. Admission is free.
Where: ION Art
When: Till 6 January, 10 am to 10 pm, Last admission at 9.30 pm.