CyberFair Project ID: 7183

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Shanbanqiao Chinese Opera Mask
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms

School: Yuming Vocational High School Home and Economics
    Miaoli, , Taiwan

7 students, ages 17~18 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 9, 2012. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2008, 2009, 2011

Classes and Teachers: Wen Tzu Liu, Chien Lin Chan, Wen Chi Yeh,Yu Ping Wei, Yi Chiu She , Yu Yu Lai .

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site: http://www.ymvs,

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Camphor trees used to be a dominant sight on the slopes in Sanyi; the township’s highly prestigious woodcarving trade counted on this heavily scented wood for its chief material. In Sanyi, woodcarving is not only passed down from generation to generation, but it is also adopted by farmers as a sideline. Dating back to the Japanese colonial period, in a die-hard spirit at the start-up stage, the founders managed to survive dismal sales by continuous training, emulation and making innovations. Those efforts are bearing fruit today. Thanks to the improvement in both woodcarving skills and the quality of life nationwide, Sanyi’s wooden craftworks have become highly valued, as if they were expensive jewelry. It is not surprising that stores decorated with woodcarvings have sprung up along the streets, with many such streets merging into the Sanyi carving specialty zone. Sanyi woodcarving, no longer just a household sideline, is now performed by professionals in a corporate business model. That explains why so many small factories have emerged across Sanyi, where literally every household is engaged in an activity related to woodcarving, hence the worldwide reputation as “The carving specialty zone” and “The carving hub of Taiwan”.

2. Summary of Our Project

The Mask Culture Museum, used as a woodcarving studio for over a decade, was transformed in 1999 into a culture museum focused on the teaching of woodcarving. Because the owners, Mr. Lin Wenyuan and his wife, Peng Feiyu, loved face painting in Beijing opera and have over the years dedicated themselves to the research and painting of the art, they have changed their classes from woodcarving techniques for beginners to impromptu painting suitable for the public, especially families. The museum offers easy and fun classes such as mask and magnetic firefly painting, as well as personalized clay statues, various mixed-media portraits, and wood plaques, all of which are designed to increase the public’s interest in the art of woodcarving.

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

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

1. Data collection: One of the biggest problems we encountered was that at first we did not know what information was needed. However, after our instructor convened a meeting with the team members, we decided on Chinese opera face painting and local cultural innovation as the center of our research topic. 2. Data analysis: After the survey, we encountered some problems in arranging the results on the website and presenting the charts. However, after consulting with out instructor, we had a better idea of how to do that. We all did our best to collaborate and finish our jobs. 3. Website building skills: Although all of the team members had previously taken a website-related course, to create a high quality interactive website with images and to achieve aesthetic oneness, instructions from advisors were necessary. 4. Research hours: To maintain our normal class times, the team used lunch breaks, club time and weekly class meetings to discuss the project and to build the website. After school, we overcame the problem of not being able to find a common meeting time by communicating and discussing the contents of the website via the Internet. 5. Project progress control: Although all of the members held high expectations for the Cyber fair project website, the lack of experience left us bewildered in the early stage as to the overall website layout or progress control. Thanks to the support and supervision by the advisors, we finished the respective tasks on time. 6. Transportation Because we all live in different towns in Miaoli County, transportation was the biggest problem for all the team members. We relied on our parents or teachers to provide transportation when interviews and the survey were conducted. Therefore, we really appreciate our teachers and parents for their help.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

This project has helped us all to realize the importance of teamwork and to learn better ways to communicate and express our opinions. We have experienced a lot of self-growth from collaborating on this project, and we are glad to be able to contribute to the promotion of Chinese opera face painting.

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

The Mask Culture Museum has developed from a foundation in traditional woodcarving culture towards a culturally creative industry. It has changed its classes from woodcarving techniques for beginners to easy and fun impromptu painting suitable for the public, especially families. Moreover, it holds the Peach Carnival every year with local artists and performers being invited to join the event. Woodcarvers are also invited to make masks to add to the museum’s collection. In addition, it has connected with Miaoli’s leisure industry by combining with local tourism and creating an environment for cultural tourism. Located in Sanyi Township of Miaoli County, Shanbanqiao Mask Culture Museum was transformed from a traditional woodcarving studio into a tourist-oriented cultural museum. It combines the local woodcarving industry with today’s trend for DIY and has successfully created a new path for itself. The museum promotes not only the art and culture of traditional Chinese (Beijing) opera but also cultural innovation. Shanbanqiao Mask Culture Museum has set a fine example for modern businesses and groups. For the Cyber fair project, we adopted computer technologies to present local culture and related expertise on the website. Internet technologies were used to underscore the artistic heritage of woodcarving and its distinctiveness. The Cyber fair project has helped our team members learn about the division of labor, and how to search/ compile information and systematically create a website. During the process, it was realized that each participant is an integral part of the project, however small a component he/she may be. It also is imperative that every member finish the tasks on time, to prevent progress from stalling. The insights gained into a local industry and the renewed importance attached to it: through this feature, we have come to understand, value and protect our local industry.

Project Elements

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

We use 'desktop computer' for Storing data, looking up information, ing web-pages; use 'digital camera' for creating meeting minutes, keeping records of the project progress and on-site interviews; use 'camcorder' for Keeing video records of meetings and on-site interviews; use 'scanner' for scanning paper documents, designing and drawings, photographs for conversion into PDF files; use 'Digital pen recorde' for keeping audio records of meetings and on-site interviews; use 'Internet Connection' for Up- and down-loaing website materials, looking up information, corresponding with teammates online; use 'Phones' for Contacting advisors, teammates and respondents. In the field of sofeware we use 'Internet Explorer' for Browsing web-pages, looking up information, up- and down-loaing website materials; use 'Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft FrontPage' for Compiling and managing webpage content; use 'Adobe Flash' for Creating animations; use 'Microsoft PowerPoint' for Producing presentation materials; use 'Microsoft Word' for Processing text materials and use 'Yahoo Messenger, MSN' for Corresponding with teammates.

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

Promoting Chinese opera face painting Chinese opera is seldom shown on TV, and unlike traditional puppet shows or Taiwanese opera, it has not been improved nor promoted. Therefore, today’s students do not know this traditional art very well. By interviewing Shanbanqiao Mask Culture Museum of Sanyi, we were able to learn about face painting in Chinese opera and contribute to the traditional art. Promoting the woodcarving art unique to Miaoli’s Sanyi area through Cyber fair: To keep alive the woodcarving heritage unique to Miaoli’s Sanyi area and to develop it into a unique local culture, we collected a lot of literature in relevant fields, interviewed those involved in the industry and visited the culture museum. The promotional content on the Cyber fair website is expected to give the general public insights into Sanyi’s woodcarving culture and help people in Miaoli to identify with their heritage. In this way, this unique trade will be preserved and hopefully thrive for generations to come. Promoting the local arts and culture: The continuance of the local arts and culture unmistakably requires considerable governmental support to launch educational/promotional campaigns. Therefore, a school-built website would be a helpful tool that would not only introduce the local heritage to people worldwide, but would also enable students across Miaoli country to understand and identify with their traditional culture.

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

Through our web pages, people not onlt learned the history of Chinese Opera Mask, but also surely obtained some concepts of Chinese Opera Mask. For instance, the community learned the combination of Chinese opera face painting and woodcarving and ne able to know a combination of old and new. As for feedback, we participated in the category of local musical arts, exploring the topic of Chinese opera face painting. We chose this topic because Shanbanqiao Mask Culture Museum of Sanyi manifests the spirit of corporate reform and cultural innovation, as well as the sense of mission to promote the art of traditional operatic face painting and woodcarving culture. Over the two visits to the museum administration, we realized the importance of teamwork. Having a common goal is the vital element to a team’s success. Moreover, in this changing world, a team should adjust its operational direction as needed. Shanbanqiao Mask Culture Museum provides Chinese opera face painting to reflect the trends in society and combines the qualities of different industries. What we have learned from them is that we should not only do our best and be persistent but also change and innovate as required. This project has helped us all to realize the importance of teamwork and to learn better ways to communicate and express our opinions. We have experienced a lot of self-growth from collaborating on this project, and we are glad to be able to contribute to the promotion of Chinese opera face painting.

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

We were so lucky that have gained so many opportunities to meet lots of helpful people during doing this project. First of all, we would like to give our special thanks to the owners of 'Shanbanqiao Mask Culture Museum' in Sanyi, Mr. Lin Wenyuan and his wife Peng Feiyu Peng. They offered us lots of useful information, knowledge about the history of Chinese Opera Mask, and provided extremely kind attutide toward us. Second, we appreciated our advisors who taught us how to analyaze and give instructions for data collecting, questionnaire survey, ensuing statistical analysis and reviewing the project content.Third, to Mr. Wen, we were very grateful for his kind Offering driving services, which provided terrfic convenience for us. Finally, we were so gald that our team-members contributed personal knowledge, power and skill while completed this project. We all have learned the importance of the power of cooperation and felt so enjoyable that we made efforts to share and work together in the process of completed this project.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Findings: From the interview, the determination of the management team at Shanbanqiao in Sanyi in facing and solving problems was something to be admired. Such a determined attitude led to the factory’s successful transformation and the subsequent adoption of an innovative business model. This is also the same attitude promulgated by the Yuming teachers: a healthy attitude towards both learning and work. Lessons learned: While working on the project, we had quite a few setbacks but we learned our lessons accordingly. The issues that emerged involved the questionnaire items, the compilation and editing of data collected, as well as overcoming technical problems related to website building and difficulties in scheduling. These challenges, nevertheless, made us realize that it is impossible to attain any achievement without a preconceived, comprehensive plan, well-coordinated teamwork and mutual support. Despite numerous setbacks, our confidence never wavered. Our problems forced us to become more involved in the project, to use our newly acquired communication and coordination skills to assist other groups, and to be assertive while showing respect for others. By participating in this project, we realized the productive value of teamwork over individual effort, and that time management is of utmost importance. Surprises: The project familiarized us with the traditional art of Chinese opera face painting and woodcarving heritage. It also impressed us with the eager pursuit of innovation and uncompromised ideals of an enterprise.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 7183)

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