Beyond King Tut

Rebuilding history from scratch (with legendary creativity) 

In partnership with the National Geographic Society, Paquin Entertainment Group, and Immersive Experiences, Normal created, produced, and directed this immersive museum exhibition, open since June 2022 at the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C. It’s also touring to Boston and other cities.

To honour the 100th anniversary of the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, this third Beyond experience (after Beyond Van Gogh and Beyond Monet) is the series’ most story driven. Since artifacts remain in Egypt and would not be part of this show, we had to create a historically-accurate exhibition using photo archives, technology, scenography, and creativity.

Normal’s concept? A multimedia trajectory that literally walks you through the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, rewinds you 3000 years into ancient Egypt, and culminates in a immersive trip across the Nile to accompany Pharaoh on his journey to the afterlife (as described in ancient texts and versions of the Egyptian Book of the Dead).


Respecting truth was essential to the National Geographic Society, with whom we liaised to align with historical facts. With no actual artifacts, we built everything from scratch – storyline, set design, and multimedia. And with only six months to work, our scenographer was in frequent communication with the teams to sketch out ideas as the exhibition took shape. 

Working with scenographers; creative writers; and lighting, prop, and sound designers, the narrative is anchored in the physical path you take throughout ten rooms.


To facilitate a touring show, everything was simultaneously fabricated four times, and elements from the museum space are adaptable to other venues – each with different sizes, architectures, and technical requirements. 

Greet history’s everlasting witness…


In addition to short films, texts, imagery, and narrations that teach you about ancient Egypt, highlights include our reimagining of the burial chamber. Inspired by the shrine’s true dimensions, we added visual projections of treasure and an oversized, modern rendition of Tutankhamen’s magnificent gold mask, augmented by dynamic lighting. Sound is spatialized in every room, with original music composed by Montreal studio Troublemakers (using similar sounds to instruments found in the actual tomb).  

After continuing on to learn about the King’s life and family tree, you meet the Nile river – history’s everlasting witness. Then, rooms of the Book of the Dead: preparation for afterlife and mummification; a serene, cocoon-like gallery of suspended linens and poetic texts (which became an Instagram sensation). Finally, the Duat and 12 gates, demon-filled caverns, and Lake of Fire – thanks to immersive projections and a life-sized boat. 

See more work