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Year: 2024

Type: Interactive art (ongoing)

Artists: Zijing Song, Christian WAGNER


Project Description

“Folding Fans” is an interactive installation that merges historical documentation with modern technology to create an immersive exploration of cultural heritage. By using artificial intelligence to enhance historical images and juxtapose them with contemporary footage, the installation explores how cultural heritage can adapt while retaining their core values, thereby illustrating the intricate balance between preservation and innovation. The installation begins with a collection of old photographs documenting folklore activities during the Cheung Chau Bun Festival in Hong Kong. The festival is deeply rooted in local folklore and traditions and is classified as intangible cultural heritage. Therefore, the transmission relies on traditional means, including oral mentoring, figures, and recordings. Utilizing generative AI tools, this work expands and reimagines the hidden stories behind the historical documentation. The AI learns and applies the traditional Chinese technique of burning foil, creating a unique visual style that artistically reproduces scenes and characters from the old photographs. By combining these AI-enhanced visuals with contemporary video recordings, the visual section creates a comprehensive narrative that bridges the past and present. It consists of four 20-30 second short videos that explore different aspects of the cultural heritage associated with the festival, including historical roots, religious ceremonies, representative activities and community spirit. As viewers approach the peace bun display, symbolizing peace and safety during the festival, a short video is randomly projected onto a folding fan. The interactive part engages audiences in a process of discovery, fostering a sense of connection between the viewers and the community residents. 

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