3D-printing Opens New Horizons for Heritage Preservation in Hong Kong

By Daniel Ma & Crystal Tai

Hong Kong is catching up with 3D-printing and aerial production to promote the art of traditional Chinese architecture.

Nine students from City University recreated architecture from the Dunhuang Murals by 3D-printing. The replicas were displayed at the exhibition – “From Dunhuang Mural to Chinese Architecture – Tradition and Development” in Shall Tin Town Hall from March 3 to March 12.

The organizer invited the university to launch this 3D-printing project, which makes use of computer graphics softwares to illustrate 3D digital images of the architectures.
Featuring a splendid of paintings about Buddhas, ghosts, mountains and architecture, the Dunhuang Murals depict the development of Buddhism in China crossing ten dynasties.
These nine students made 3D artifacts based on the Murals by taking the proportions of traditional timber-structured architecture as reference.

10295662_1127910373900158_7075697562108599981_nAlso, as the murals often simplify the structures of architectures, they had to study traditional Chinese wooden-structure buildings and their construction technologies in order to create 3D models accurately.

Along with the prevalence of 3D-printing technology, students hope that their new attempt can rise the public’s interest of studying Chinese traditional architectures.
“Technology changes the way that people access to Chinese heritage by putting visitors right into the architecture,” said Ms Cora Ho Lai-sheung, Honorary Advisor of the Sha Tin District National Education Committee (STDNEC).

“It is nice to see the young people being enthusiastic to study Chinese traditional culture and do such project,” Mr. Kam, a visitor said. “The 3D models are great.”
Other parts of the world have long begun using aerial drone footage and 3D-printing to reproduce relics destroyed by ISIS since 2014.



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