China Bridge Content & Smithsonian Create New Animated Characters
China Bridge Content, a New York-based content and consulting firm founded by 12-time Emmy Award-winning creator Josh Selig, was selected by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Asian Art in Washington, DC, to create original animated characters to help enhance the museum experience for families.
China Bridge and the Department of Conservation and Scientific Research at the National Museum of Asian Art will be working together to create family-friendly original characters who will both entertain and educate museum visitors about the various aspects of conserving works of art. The China Bridge-National Museum of Asian Art project team is developing potential future uses for the characters, like appearances in animated videos, books, games, toys and graphic novels as well as on the museum’s website and outreach materials.
The initiative is part of a new museum focus on pre-K–12 learning that combines art and science. The educational focus of the new characters will help families understand the behind-the-scenes world at the museum, learn about art from different angles, and gain insights into the museum’s conservation and scientific research activities. The new project will also help kids and families appreciate the unique ways that conservators, scientists and curators work together with other museum staff to study and care for works of art, and to prepare for works of art to be on view in the galleries at the National Museum of Asian Art.
The project is being headed up by China Bridge’s Josh Selig (Wonder Pets, Super Wings) and is supported by his team members Ye Chao, the former head of Shanghai Toonmax and a cultural advisor for Shanghai Disneyland; Emilie Blezat, founder and former CEO of Studiocanal China, who runs Dark Riviera AB and has extensive experience developing and producing original content for museums, films, TV, games, and graphic novels; and Bob Holmes, CEO of Sudden Industries, a New York-based studio which creates innovative and educational digital experiences for leading US-channels including Nickelodeon and PBS Kids.
The new characters will be inspired by art from the National Museum of Asian Art, whose extensive collections feature many of the world’s premier Asian artworks. These include objects dating from Neolithic times to the early 20th century, including paintings, sculptures, scrolls, pottery, jades, and bronzes.
The museum’s team of conservators and scientists, led by conservator Ellen Chase, and other experts will co-develop and guide the project at every step to ensure that the new characters and all other related media are historically and technically accurate.
“Our new partnership with the Smithsonian is a unique opportunity to bring China Bridge’s international brand of storytelling into the rich environment of the National Museum of Asian Art,” said Josh Selig, China Bridge Content. “We believe our original characters will bring a whole new level of engagement with the museum and we think families will love them!”