Preserving Hong Kong’s Old Shops: Artists Use 3D Scanning and AI to Capture Heritage

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Preserving Hong Kong’s Old Shops: Artists Utilize 3D Scanning and AI to Capture Heritage

In an effort to safeguard the unique charm and memories of Hong Kong’s traditional shops, a team of visual artists from the Baptist University has harnessed the power of 3D scanning technology and artificial intelligence (AI). Their mission is to ensure that these iconic establishments are not lost amidst the rapid pace of modernization.

Led by Pat Wong Wing-shan and Chan Kachi, assistant professors at the Academy of Visual Arts, the team visited ten shops with rich histories, including the renowned Chu Wing Kee grocery store in Sheung Wan, the Shing Hing Tai Rice Shop in Shek Kip Mei, and the Mido Cafe in Yau Ma Tei. Their objective was to document the physical appearances and stories of these establishments through words, illustrations, and videos.

The artists not only captured the essence of the shops but also educated the owners on how to conduct scans of every nook and cranny, as well as their daily routines, from a first-person perspective. Using AI technology, the team reconstructed the scanned data to create virtual 3D point cloud models of these shops. These models portray both the exterior and interior spaces, allowing viewers to explore the shops from various angles.

For a limited time, people have the opportunity to visit a multimedia art exhibition at the Anita Chan Lai-ling Gallery in the Fringe Club located in Central, where the physical representation of these shops is on display. However, the virtual models can still be viewed online.

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Chan, also known as Flying Pig and the technical director of the project, explained, Points are the fundamental building blocks of geometry, with points forming lines and lines forming planes. By producing 3D scans, we ‘quantify’ memories and transform each shop into a virtual form consisting of two to four million points. This digitized format preserves spaces and memories, and revives the shops’ appearances.

In addition to preserving the physical representations, the team has also created a real estate project for these virtual shops. Each shop’s 3D point cloud model was divided into point data, which is now available for purchase at the Fringe Club. Part of the sales revenue will be utilized to support the relocation or closure of these old shops.

Wong, the project and exhibition curator, emphasized that their goal is not to profit from this venture, but rather to stimulate discussions around the relationship between consumers, economic development, and urban conservation. They aim to raise awareness of the importance of preserving valuable heritage using market mechanisms commonly employed in economically-centric cities.

To provide a multidimensional perspective, the team invited writers and documentary directors to create articles and videos based on the exhibition’s content. By doing so, they hope to encourage diverse opinions and foster greater understanding of the subject matter.

The utilization of 3D scanning technology and AI by these passionate visual artists demonstrates their commitment to preserving the rich cultural heritage and memories encapsulated within Hong Kong’s old shops. Their innovative approach safeguards the legacy of these establishments, ensuring that they remain a part of the city’s evolving narrative.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to the Above News

What is the purpose of the project undertaken by the team of visual artists from the Baptist University?

The purpose of the project is to safeguard the unique charm and memories of Hong Kong's traditional shops, ensuring they are not lost amidst modernization.

How did the artists document the physical appearances and stories of the shops?

The artists documented the physical appearances and stories of the shops through words, illustrations, and videos.

How did the team utilize 3D scanning technology and AI?

The team utilized 3D scanning technology to scan every aspect of the shops and created virtual 3D point cloud models. They then used AI technology to reconstruct the scanned data and create virtual representations of the shops.

Where can people view the physical representation of these shops?

People can view the physical representation of these shops at the Anita Chan Lai-ling Gallery in the Fringe Club, located in Central. However, the virtual models can still be viewed online.

How are the virtual shops being utilized for a real estate project?

Each shop's 3D point cloud model was divided into point data, which is now available for purchase. Part of the sales revenue will be utilized to support the relocation or closure of these old shops.

What is the goal of the project and exhibition curator?

The goal of the curator is not to profit from the venture, but rather to stimulate discussions around the relationship between consumers, economic development, and urban conservation. They aim to raise awareness about preserving valuable heritage.

How is the team fostering greater understanding of the subject matter?

The team invited writers and documentary directors to create articles and videos based on the exhibition's content, hoping to encourage diverse opinions and foster greater understanding among the audience.

What is the significance of utilizing 3D scanning technology and AI in this project?

The utilization of 3D scanning technology and AI allows for the preservation of the rich cultural heritage and memories encapsulated within Hong Kong's old shops. This innovative approach safeguards their legacy and ensures they remain a part of the city's evolving narrative.

Please note that the FAQs provided on this page are based on the news article published. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is always recommended to consult relevant authorities or professionals before making any decisions or taking action based on the FAQs or the news article.

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