From Fenben to Digital Dunhuang Material Pool: Innovations in Art Production through Transformation of Producing Media

Media; Art Production; Fenben; Digital Dunhuang·Material Pool; Textual Poaching.


  • Ruiqi Ren
    The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
April 28, 2023


Fenben was an indispensable medium for the ancient Dunhuang artisans before painting the wall. While Digital Dunhuang·Material Pool, which relies on 3D laser scanning, digital storage, and blockchain, is a new medium for art production in the advanced technological context. Combining desk research and case studies, using Fenben and the Digital Dunhuang·Material Pool as examples, this research focuses on the medium's origin, content, form, and application to practical art production, analyzing the prescriptive nature of the different mediums and their corresponding shaping of art production patterns. In conclusion, the research argues that the Digital Dunhuang·Material Pool echoes Fenben in an inter-temporal way while transforming the “readable”  world of the Buddha on the wall into the “writable”  cultural object on the blockchain, thus providing a compliant medium for cultural enthusiasts to create secondary artworks around Dunhuang, which is a vivid practice in the democratization of art production through the development of contemporary media.