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Hidden Histories of SJ Japantown Opening Celebration

  • June 19, 2021
  • 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Art Object Gallery, 592 North Fifth St., San Jose
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Join Hidden Histories of San Jose Japantown for an opening and unveiling of Augmented Reality (AR) art pieces in Japantown on Saturday, June 19th, 4:00 p.m.  The free event will begin at the Art Object Gallery with an exhibit about the project and a brief, informal introduction. Then everyone will be encouraged to go out into the neighborhood for a live experience with the AR art pieces on their mobile devices.

Augmented Reality (AR) is a mobile app technology that overlays computer-generated information (sounds, images, text) on the camera view of the real world around you. Using the AR-vos app (developed by Tamiko Thiel and Peter Graf), your smartphone is transformed into an “ARt- scope” that reveals hidden geolocative (place-based) AR artworks placed at various locations around Japantown.


To optimize your enjoyment of the Augmented Reality (AR) artwork we recommend the following:

  • Download the AR-vos app to your mobile phone. It's easier to do over your home WiFi, and will save you some time when you arrive. The app can be found both in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Visit this site for more information: ar-vos.com.
  • Bring a portable battery charger and your charging cable, as well as earphones/earbuds (some pieces have audio tracks).
  • Prepare for the heat! Remember to bring your sunscreen, hat, and water bottle.
  • Wear good walking shoes. The AR artwork is scattered all across Japantown. There is a lot to see and you will probably not see everything in one day. Please plan for a return visit!

Please remember that Hidden Histories is a community art experiment. More recent smartphones (three years old or newer) should have no problem viewing the exhibit. Some older phones will also work. For best results, it is recommended that you come with family and friends and be sure that someone in your party has a newer phone. On the day of the exhibit, there will also be roaming docents available with devices that can see the AR art.

This event is free and open to the public, however donations are welcome.

CLICK HERE to Donate!

Here's a sneak preview of what you will see...

Hidden Histories of San Jose Japantown is a project of the Japanese American Museum of San Jose. It is funded through a founding grant from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in collaboration with Microsoft, with additional funding by the California History Center, De Anza College, and support from the Chinese Historical and Cultural Project and the Filipino American National Historical Society, Santa Clara Valley Chapter. Special thanks to Art Object Gallery.

Museum Address:

History Park
635 Phelan Avenue
San Jose, CA 95112

In Ng Shing Gung Building

Mailing Address:

PO Box 5366
San Jose, CA 95150-5366

Email: info@chcp.org

Chinese Historical & Cultural Project

CHCP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination due to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or age.

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