LAM SAI WING IRON THREAD FIST VIDEO & EXCERPT FROM “HONG KONG MARTIAL ARTS GRANDMASTER LAM SAI-WING BROUGHT TO LIFE IN 3D EXHIBITION” BY RACHEL CHEUNG
Lam Sai Wing Iron Thread Fist is a motion capture video based on photos of Grandmaster Lam Sai Wing performing each move in the set. The creators of the video, a team from International Guoshu Association (IGA), working with City University of Hong Kong, built a 3D model of Lam from his photos, then motion-capture footage of his descendants practising hung kuen was analysed and combined, resulting in a 3D animation of Lam in action. This unique video was part of “Lingnan Hung Kuen Across the Century: Kung Fu Narratives in Hong Kong Cinema and Community”, a 2017 exhibit presented by the Institute of Chinese Martial Studies, Ltd., at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre. Many thanks to Sifu Frank Bolte of hungboxen-hannover.de for posting the video.
Hong Kong reporter Rachel Cheung writes:
Fascinated by photography, Lam Sai-wing…was so drawn by the technology that he showed his moves in front of the camera, capturing each step in photos. That was in the 1920s, and little did he know, the pictures will enable future generations to bring his art back to life almost a century later.
Lam Sai Wing demonstrating key bridges, in an excerpt from the photographic series he commissioned to record his art step-by step.
Rachel Cheung continues:
“A realistic animation of Lam’s Iron Wire Boxing [was] one of the highlights in the exhibition “Lingnan Hung Kuen Across the Century: Kung Fu Narratives in Hong Kong Cinema and Community,” which [opened] at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre on [6 September 2017].
The team – International Guoshu Association (IGA) working with City University of Hong Kong – built a 3D model of Lam with his photos and captured the core motion data by having master Oscar Lam, the fourth generation carrier of the Lam family hung kuen style, demonstrate in a studio. The data was then mapped onto the model.
3D images based on photographs of Lam Sai Wing.
But the story doesn’t end there.
“There are nuances or characteristics of each performer. Oscar’s performance is certainly his own and cannot be used to directly represent Lam Sai-wing,” says Hing Chao, curator of the exhibition and executive director of IGA.
To present an animation that is closest to Lam’s rendition of Iron Wire Boxing, the team compared the motion capture data with performances by Oscar Lam Chuen-ho’s father Lam Chun-fai, historic photos of Lam Sai-wing and extrapolation of Lam’s teachings. The entire process took six months.
“We do it because we can,”says Jeffrey Shaw, director of the Centre for Applied Computing and Interactive Media at the City University, where the motion capture studio is located. “It’s a way of bringing the past into the present and making it more seductive to a contemporary audience.”
The exhibition, a programme in [the 2017] Hong Kong Culture Festival, focuses on two influential families that were practitioners of Hung Kuen. “Hung Kuen played a very prominent role in modernisation of southern Chinese martial arts and had a great impact on the development of kung fu in Hong Kong both before and after the war,” says Chao, adding it is very rare for a kung fu style to have more than 100 years of history in the city.
SOURCE: “Hong Kong martial arts grandmaster Lam Sai-wing brought to life in 3D exhibition” by Rachel Chung, South China Morning Post (5 September 2017)
ALSO SEE: Lingnan Hung Kuen Across the Century: Kung Fu Narratives in Cinema and Community
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