Application software: Mo Luk
Production: ACIM/SCM City University of Hong Kong, International Guoshu Association
For some years Sarah Kenderdine and Jeffrey Shaw have been working together with Hing Chao and the International Guoshu Association in Hong Kong to create artworks based on the motion capture (MOCAP) of kung fu performances by renowned Hong Kong martial arts masters. “Kung Fu Visualization” is a panoptic video installation whereby these kung fu masters’ performances are reenacted and reenvisioned. The motion captured datasets have been digitally processed to elucidate the underlying dynamics and aesthetics of the masters’ movements. They trace the temporal paths each of part of the kung fu actor’s body and give formal expression to the relative movement speed and spatial displacement of their bodies. Newly designed for the Macao Biennale, the installation is presented on three vertically mounted LED screens, showing a 360-degree rendering of the kung fu masters’ performances from six points of view. An interactive control panel allows viewers to select from six different styles of motion-graphic visualization and four different motion-captured datasets – providing twenty-four variations in total. These analytical and artistic formulations constitute an operational and aesthetic engagement with the embodied knowledge of kung fu, and excite our enjoyment and understanding of this profound martial arts tradition.
Courtesy of the artists