The University of California, San Diego requested Q-PLUS Labs for a unique onsite 3D scanning project of the Something Pacific installation for the Stuart Collection. This installation by Nam June Paik consists of two parts, an indoor exhibit found in the lobby of the university’s Media Center as well as 3 statues of tiny Buddhas staring at dead TV sets embedded throughout the landscape UCSD’s Communications/Media Center building. The resulting scans will be used to reproduce the Buddha statues in detail should they be damaged or stolen.
Nam June Paik designed this installation which is composed of televisions paired with Buddhas watching them to depict extended contemplation. As an integral aspect of UCSD’s landscape, the university sought to preserve the statues via 3D scan data in case the statues would need to be recreated in detail. For this particular application, Q-PLUS Labs’ engineers used white light and laser scanning technology, specifically the Steinbichler COMET L3D and the Faro Edge ScanArm HD.
Even with high tech 3D scanning equipment, obtaining accurate and detailed scans in an outdoor and uncontrolled environment was a meticulous process. Because the statues were unmovable and anchored into the ground, the engineers established a controlled scan environment by carefully tenting each statue to block excessive lighting.
Being in an outdoor environment, the statues required thorough and careful cleaning as well as a trench dug around each statue to render more of the statues’ surface area for greater scan detail. The freeform and unusual geometry of each statue also provided a challenge to obtain scan details. However, Q-PLUS Labs’ engineers completed the job and the scan data produced will help to preserve this interesting exhibit for years to come.