CyberFair Project ID: 5805

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Imperial Doctor of the Matzu Statue - Prof. Yuan-feng Chang
Category: 1. Local Leaders

School: Guei Ren Junior High School
    Tainan County, Taiwan, Taiwan

11 students, ages 13-14 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 24, 2009. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): none

Classes and Teachers: Wu-cheng Lin, Ching-huan Wang,hsin-hua Yeh,Wan-ting Hsieh,Chia-hsiu Tzeng,Chia-ping Chang,Kai-ting Hsieh,Ping-bo Wang,Ruo-ting Wang,Pei-cheng Hsu,Fang-ling Yang,Yu-ting Huang,Yu-wen Fan,Ru-chuan Dai

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Remotely situated by Shanhu Pond of Dachi Village, Guantian Township, Tainan County, Tainan National University of the Arts is the arts university that has the most frequent international changes and follows the world trend, among the three arts universities in Taiwan. It establies the Graduate Institute of Conservation of Cultural Relics in 1999 with the mission to “cultivate the world-class relics conservation professionals to preserve the relics, prevent the loss of relics information, extend the life of the heritage assets, and conserve the excellent culture and aesthetics of mankind.” It is the highest academic institute that cultivates professionals in conservation and preservation of relics in Taiwan. The program is 3 to 4 years, and comprises 4 emphasis divisions. It has invited overseas scholars and international experts for lectures, and Professor Chang was invited by President Pao-teh Han of the University to return to Taiwan from the U.S. to chair the Asian Painting Division. In the initial stage, the establishment of the institute underwent serious hardship, yet it successfully developed from a small office of 2 desks and 2 computers to a specialized institute with its own building and equipment. Each division recruits 5 graduate students each year, and the students are required to complete a 4-month internship at renowned domestic or overseas museums before graduation. Its rigorous program can be regarded as the most difficult institute to be graduated from in Taiwan.

2. Summary of Our Project

In the dawn of June 11, 2004, the “beheaded Matzu statue” incident in the Matzu Temple of Grand Matzu Temple in Tainan City astonished the public and academia. The clay sculpture of Matzu, with height of 220cm and weight of 120kg, was ruptured from the chest area due to many years of termite erosion. The statue collapsed severely, and the religious followers were very saddened. The temple, cultural center, and Tainan City Cultural Department urgently commissioned the chair of the Asian Painting Division at the Graduate Institute of Conservation of Cultural Relics, Prof. Yuan-feng Chang, to take charge of investigation, design for restoration, and supervision, so that the oldest Matzu statue in Taiwan could rebuilt and be worshipped by the followers. Prof. Chang has exerted her utmost efforts in developing the conservation and preservation of relics. Besides cultivating professionals, she also promoted the education of cultural property conservation. She has been occupied by commissioned projects, teaching, and lectures, and spared little time on her young children and family. She is like an ascetic monk that is fearless of the obstacles ahead of her, and contributed to the conservation and preservation science in Taiwan with solid steps. This is the reason that she condemned the Grand Matzu Temple for coating golden lips for Matzu statue after the restoration. The advisor of this project is a graduate student of Prof. Chang. To promote Prof. Chang’s education in cultural conservation, fulfill the mission of public education, and educate the students about restoration and conservation, this project discusses the restoration of Matzu statue, introduces the concepts of conservation and restoration, and presents the restoration procedures demonstrated by Prof. Chang. The cases presented in this project are Oriental art crafts, in order to provide a basic understanding of the cultural property conservation and restoration.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

We search relevant information through broadband Internet access in our school’s computer room and Mr. Line’s art classroom. We have also uploaded our reports through FTP. We normally check each other’s progress with email. So we fully utilized contemporary technological equipments to finish this report.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Wan-ting: In order to make an appointment with Prof. Chang for interview, we had to find a time available to each of our member and Prof. Chang. Since all of our members are from different classes, we had to use our vacation time. More importantly, we had to find a date on which Prof. Chang would be available. Chia-ping: We all have encountered problems from the records of the interview, but we have also overcome them. 1.Writing the transcripts of the records was an extremely patience-challenging work: Chia-hsiu: To key in the transcript from the records, we had to listen first and then key it in section by section. It was really a challenging work but it brought also a lot of fulfillments. Kai-ting: Eventually, everyone worked overnight to finish the project. Although it was tiring, it was also a happy memory. Fang-ling: I almost have auditory hallucination. I could not understand some works and repeated listening to them several times. But when I finished, I felt like accomplished something really great, and I was suddenly relieved. 2. Field trip interview Ru-chuan: I could not understand some of the proper names, I had to ask privately or actually see how something works in order to understand these terms. But doubts about questions derived many further questions! Wan-ting: This experience is a very good seasoning of my life. Nobody knows whether there will be another chance. In short I can only say, the process of our cooperation in this project and writing of a website were full of “blood and sweat”, we had to work overnight and key in the transcript while others were enjoying their vacation. I think I will find it fun when I recollect it later.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Prof. hopes that this project could educate the public about the correct concepts on the preservation of cultural relics. Therefore, we want to promote related knowledge in our school and communities, in order to serve as a responsible “ambassador”. Now, we hope that this meaningful project, as well as our achievement and joy, could be shared with people around the world.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Realization of Cultural Heritages Preservation and Maintenance Education

“Cultural Heritages Preservation and Maintenance” Education (CHPME) is one of the activities promoted by Council for Cultural Affairs (CCA) in recent years, for example, “Historic Monuments Day”, “The Repurposing of Historic Building”, “Relic Restoration”. On Grade 1-9 Curriculum education, how then do they realize CHPME? Besides “Native Education”, university-centered program integrated Taiwanese architecture, handicraft, and arts from the perspective of “Art and Humanity Studies”, through cherishing of relics and homeland, in order to preserve cultural heritage and to cultivate self-identification of Taiwanese culture. In an informatized international village, through the internet, we try to promote the thought of widening one’s horizon to multiple cultures, the self-identification of our own culture, respect and appreciate other cultures, and to preserve human cultural heritage together. This is the main aim of our team to participate in the Cyberfair (This activity itself is already is CHPME).

The belief in Matzu and her statue are one of the characteristics of Taiwanese culture. It is widely known even by foreigner. The event of “the beheaded Matzu statue” of Tainan’s first-class historic site Grand Matzu Temple was an important local news. So the leader of the restoration team, Prof. Yuan-feng Chang, integrated international experts in restoration and traditional craftsman into a team to restore the statue scientifically. This is not only the first case in Taiwan, but could also be an example for the restoration of human relics. Mr. Lin, as a student of Prof. Chang, is in the field of both education and cultural heritage preservation and restoration research, so he has every reason to take the responsibility to promote CHPME. As a result, we integrated “Arts and Humanity”, “Information Technology”, “Social Science”, and “School-centered program”, through the limitless extended reading and learning on the internet, to introduce the event of Prof. Chang’s restoration of the Matzu statue and the idea of restoration, and to realize the responsibility of CHPME.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

The information tools & technologies used by our team includes: Telephones 1. Purpose: To contact team members and subjects of interview 2. Source: Telephones of the school, our teacher, landline from team members and mobile Digital Cameras 1. Purpose: Recording of activities and relevant data from books 2. Source: Our school, teacher, and team members. Scanners 1. Purpose: Scanning data from books 2. Source: Our school and teacher. Recorders 1. Purpose: To interview Prof. Chang. 2. Source: 1 from our teacher and we also brought 1. Software 1. Purpose: Data processing, uploading, and images process and webpage designing, etc. 2. Source: School and home. Library 1. Purpose: Data searching 2. Source: Our school Books, newspapers 1. Purpose: Organizing the result of the research. 2. Source: Prof. Chang provided a report of the restoration, Mr. Lin. 3.Most valuable. Restoration Room 1. Purpose: Primordial understanding of the process of restoration 2. Most valuable. Field Trip 1. Purpose: To understand the research result and history. 2. Most valuable. Field Trip Observation 1. Most valuable.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

We search related news on the restoration of Matzu statue by Prof. Chang, in order to gain a basic understanding of the restoration of statue and the public attitude toward the restoration. When Prof. Chang knew that we are researching her restoration project as the theme of our Cyberfair project, to educate the public about cultural asset preservation and allow foreigners to learn about the restoration process and principle of cultural relics (Matzu statue) in Taiwan, she expressed her interest in receiving an interview, and invited us to visit her studio. She explained to us about the concepts on the restoration and preservation of relics, provided us with related texts and photos on the restoration of Matzu statue, which are invaluable and unpublished. Also, under the impact of financial crisis, the PTA still gave full support to the Cyberfair projects, both spiritually and financially. This has brought the team even closer and makes the project more well-known.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

We learned from this activity that, nowadays, few in our society truly understand what “restoration” means; is it “to repair a relic such that no one could see any clue of damaging”? Many people think so. Every piece of work destroyed by restorer with such a belief lost its historic atmosphere. But restorers like Prof. Chang, who has already realized such phenomena, are doing their best to preserve the historic atmosphere. In this project we interviewed Prof. Chang, and we understood her ideas on restoration. She feels sad about the wrong ideas in restoration. Through our webpage, one can see the truth in restoration, and we can then spread the correct idea of restoration to the world, so as to let more people to be baptized by knowledge and prevent history from disappearing.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Family members: To book vehicles and manage gifts, etc. Project advising and financial support

Community Resident: Prof. Yuan-feng Chang provided us information Mr. and Mrs. Ching-tai Wu provided us information Oriental Paintings Studio, Graduate Institute of Conservation of Cultural Relics, Tainan National University of the Arts provided us information Mr. Wu-cheng Lin provided us information

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Chia-hsiu: I learned in this activity that a damaged relic could be restored to such an miraculous extent, this profession is really great. Kai-ting: I was very surprised when I first saw Prof. Chang. She looked so young. Fang-ling: I learned that “restoration” is not an easy job. One must be patient, resolute, and has the interest in restoration in order to do this job well, for restoration includes many different aspects and many accidental situations, which all challenge one’s patience. If one like jigsaw puzzle, one could perhaps consider this job, since to recombine pieces of brittle painting is a part of the work in restoration.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5805)

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