Revealing Krishna: Journey to Cambodia’s Sacred Mountain

“Revealing Krishna: Journey to Cambodia’s Sacred Mountain” is an exhibition centered around the newly restored Cambodian sculpture, Krishna Lifting Mount Govardhan. The Krishna sculpture was broken into multiple pieces over 1,500 years and across 3 continents. The exhibition is a culmination of new discoveries, decades of conservation efforts, and international partnerships.



Practice Area


The Cleveland Museum of Art


The Challenge

In 2018, the design team was brought in at the start of the planning process to leverage digital media and engage a local audience with an unfamiliar story. A scholarly exhibition about ancient Cambodian sculptures involving conservation discoveries and geopolitical changes had many elements that needed to be told simply and in a memorable way.

Project Vision

Four immersive media experiences anchor the exhibition and bring to life the complex story behind the ancient Cambodian sculptures on display. The museum wanted to give a sense of place and create a transportive experience for their visitors. Many of the original sculptures from the site were too large and fragile to be transported to Cleveland for the show, but the museum wanted to represent all 8 sculptures in a monumental fashion. Finally, safety and accessibility standards needed to be integrated into the various media and interactive experiences.

Gods of Phnom Da is an interactive pantheon of the eight original sculptures found at the temple mountain, digitally reunited for the first time.

Dome Collective

A 22-foot corridor opens the show, immersing visitors in the Cambodian landscape where ancient pilgrimages to the sacred temple mountain of Phnom Da took place.

The Cleveland Museum of Art

Visitors are transported through Cambodia’s rural flood plains and rich soundscapes that were captured by aerial drone footage, three-camera-rig boat footage, and field recordings.

The Cleveland Museum of Art

HoloLens Experience: Story of the Cleveland Krishna is an 11-minute mixed-reality tour that walks visitors through the sculpture’s provenance, global travels, and conservation.

Dome Collective

Design + Execution

Revealing Krishna was the museum’s first special exhibition to use state-of-the-art immersive digital media throughout the visitor experience. The three-month exhibition opened and closed to sold-out shows. The media design process was a model for collaboration across museum departments, design and technology partners, and international institutions. The exhibition was a proof-of-principle for immersive digital throughout museum exhibitions, with digital elements working alongside masterworks of art to provide deeper understanding of complex concepts.

Each visitor wears a Microsoft HoloLens 2 headset that displays dimensional holograms augmented in the gallery space.

Dome Collective

Visitors are guided by the child-like voice of Krishna through 6 physical stations, telling the story of a conservation mystery and how it was solved.

Dome Collective

Global Journeys: Immersive Timeline is a panoramic film narrated by Angelina Jolie and Loung Ung tracing the global pathways of conservation and collaboration between institutions.

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Project Details
What a great way of presenting history with a parallel perspective on what it is now versus then! History shown with a complete narrative and visual context is a pathway for engagement and inspiration by the past and what the future could hold. I hope to see more exhibitions with deeply focused narratives like this one!
Juror 1
A sequence of multiple very strong exhibition moments, tactfully using film, interactivity and Virtual Reality to tell the story of this Cambodian sculpture’s provenance, global travels and conservation.
Juror 2
Design Team

Katie Lee, Lynn Kiang, Dome (creative directors)
Helen Niu, Dome (2d animation)
Jane Alexander, CMA (project lead)
Sonya Rhie Mace, CMA (curatorial lead)
Andrew Gutierrez, CMA (exhibition design lead)
Jeff Judge, CMA (av integration lead)
Anna Faxon, CMA (project manager, hololens experience, immersive timeline)
Haley Kedziora, CMA (project manager, gods of phnom da, journey)
Mark Griswold, The Interactive Commons at Case Western University (hololens experience project lead)


The Cleveland Museum of Art (curatorial, design, exhibitions and publications, conservation, applications and development teams, digital innovation and technology services)
Zenith Systems (av planning and installation)
The Interactive Commons at Case Western University (holoLens production and software development)
Raymond Kent, DLR Group (sound design and production)
Konstanty Kulik, Michal Mierzejewski, Dawid Korzan, The Farm 51 (director of photography, field recording, drone operation, photogrammetry, lidar scan, 3d models)
Dale Utt III, True Edge Archive (3d animation)
Sina Bahram, Corey Timpson, Prime Access Consultants (accessibility consulting)
Nick Fitzhugh, Redfitz (hololens script writing)
Khin Po-Thai (local fixer)

Photo Credits

Dome Collective (photography)
The Cleveland Museum of Art (photography, videography)

Open Date

November 2021