CyberFair Project ID: 8519

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Lacquer Thread Sculpture
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms

School: Kang Chiao International School
    New Taipei City, New Taipei City, Taiwan (R.O.C)

9 students, ages 17 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 9, 2020. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Classes and Teachers: Hsiao Shih-Hsuan, Peng Ying-Tsong

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site: http://

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

A beautiful island located in the Eastern part of Asia, off the Western Pacific Ocean, Taiwan is a country with many inspirational cultures and arts. The history of Taiwan’s traditional arts can date back to about the mid-17th century when the General Crisis occured. However, with the advancement in technology and the fast-paced modern life, few Taiwanese people still possess the skills and knowledge needed to continue creating Taiwan’s traditional art. Without help from the younger generation, Taiwan’s traditions are slowly fading.

2. Summary of Our Project

Chin-Yi Yen and Jia-Yi Lin, two lacquer thread sculpture masters in Taiwan, decorated pillars of temples, held art exhibitions, and tried their best to introduce the traditional Taiwanese art of lacquer thread. Within this project, the group will be investigating lacquer thread sculpture’s history, its creation processes, where it’s used, difficulties of creating it, and different forms of it. This project mainly investigates the aforementioned by learning how to create lacquer thread sculptures and obtaining information through interviews and secondary sources. The group would like citizens of Taiwan and people around the world to remember lacquer thread sculpture, create artworks using lacquer thread, and inspire future generations with it.

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:dial-up modem

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

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

During the process of creation, the group had to write decent paragraphs for each section in the website. Writing the Chinese contents wasn’t as challenging since Chinese is our mother language. However, translating the Chinese contents into English was quite a challenge for us. The topic of our International Cyber Fair project was “Lacquer Thread Sculpture,” which is a form of Chinese traditional art. A lot of professional vocabularies that are related to lacquer thread and the techniques were in Chinese and do not have direct translation on the internet. To overcome this obstacle, students in our group searched up all the vocabularies that have similar meanings to the professional Chinese word and discussed together about which vocabulary had the closest meaning and which fits the best. Other than the translating obstacle, the group faced a bit of technical obstacles while creating the website, but eventually solved it by communicating and solving the issues with teachers. Discussions and communication indeed allowed the group to overcome all of the obstacles that appeared during the process of creating the website.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Through participating in this year’s International Cyberfair, every member of the team has improved their skills and increased their perspective of our culture by investing a significant amount of time researching, creating the website, and conducting the interviews. This project taught the team to work through the obstacles in order to achieve the best result and taught the school our country’s traditional culture that is fading away little by little.

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

Through the process of researching and conducting interviews for this project, we learned about Taiwanese history and its traditional arts. As IB and AP students, Taiwanese history isn’t available in our curriculum, thus this a special opportunity for us to learn about our own culture, even parts that are not present in conventional Taiwanese history courses. We also had a chance to try creating a simple lacquer thread pattern, an experience we won’t forget. Teamwork plays an essential role throughout the process. We learned about when to discuss as a group, when to divide and conquer for efficiency, assisting and learning from each other’s strengths simultaneously. We shared this website with our peers, and we hope our achievements in this competition can allow a wider range of audience to notice our work, for friends around to see the beauty of Taiwanese artwork. Finally, it is a blessing to be able to use the internet as a learning tool. The internet is an infinite world without borders, where we customize our own curriculum, determine our interests and dive deep into them. It’s an experience that traditional textbooks can’t deliver, and has benefited us for both this project and regular school work. The internet also enables us to reach out to lacquer thread sculpture. Their experience, stories, and answers to our questions are uncomparable to and much more valuable than the standardized content published online.

Project Elements

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

In order to create a website, we have to research information about lacquer thread sculptures and interview both masters Chin-Yi Yen and Jia-Yi Lin. First, for background research, we used our laptops, including seven MacBooks and two HP computers, to access websites containing information about both masters and then organized the information we found in Google Drive and Google Docs. USBs are also used to carry and send data. Next, we designed and sent a survey via Google Forms. Then for our interview with the lacquer thread sculpture masters, we used cameras on three legged stands for filming, digital still cameras to take photos, and mobile phones for note taking and contacting each other. In the final stage of designing a website, we used PCs, Adobe Muse, Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Premiere. Though we could obtain information about lacquer thread sculptures by looking through library books, we find researching online much more efficient, so we chose digital sources as our approach to enhancing our understanding in lacquer thread sculptures. As most research is conducted in school, we took advantage of the school’s provided Wi-fi to navigate through websites. In a way, Google Forms is the most valuable tool we have because we collected over 160 responses rather efficiently within days by emailing the survey to students and members of the school faculty, which would otherwise take much more time and resources if we had handed out printed surveys to each individual to fill out instead. Without these softwares and tools, creating a website would be much more inconvenient.

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

Throughout the project, the students had to act as ambassadors and spokesperson in person and online in order to achieve the purpose of the project, informing others about traditional cultures. Starting small, the team worked tirelessly during club time to not only finish their assigned tasks but also inform the club teachers and other members of the club about their topic, Lacquer Thread Sculpture. For the project, the students had to contact the two masters for interviews, and it was through great length that the students were able to get the masters’ consent for an interview. The interviews with the masters was one of the things that really drew people’s attention. In addition to the interviews, the students sent a survey out to the school in order to get students and teacher’s views about the topic, while informing the school about the project we were conducting. The feedback for the survey was positive and some students and teachers displayed interests in learning more about the project, for which the students replied with some basic information, enough to provoke enthusiasm but not too much so they don’t get bored. Overall, the students’ roles as ambassadors were demonstrated well throughout the project.

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

The group sent a survey to the school students and faculty members to understand how well they know traditional Taiwanese handcraft, mainly about lacquer thread sculptures. With around 150 responses, not only were we able to gather information for our project, those who filled out the survey also had the opportunity to realize the importance of Taiwan’s preserving traditional art. After gathering the responses, we found out that most of the people who responded did not have much knowledge about the traditional culture. Thus we researched about lacquer thread sculpture, interviewed two lacquer thread sculpture masters, organized all of the information, and published them on our website. With our website, even though we are not sure about whether people all around the world have learned about lacquer thread sculpture, but it is certain that we have provided a platform for people who are interested in the Taiwanese traditional culture, and we allowed everyone to access to our website, in which they would definitely learn something new after visiting our website. It is true that we are uncertain about whether people all around the world had learned something through our website, but our website was visited by a few of the students in our school, and they were all amazed by the beautiful and unique Taiwanese culture. And this indeed showed our website helpfulness as it was able to promote lacquer thread sculpture and make people acknowledge the artwork, as well as to gain publicity for the Taiwanese traditional culture.

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

For this year’s project, our team chose “Lacquer Thread Sculpture”, a traditional sculpture technique with deep historical and cultural roots. However, information about lacquer thread sculpture is scarce on the internet, thus our team decided to directly contact two lacquer thread sculpture artists and arrange interviews. Through the help of Facebook, our team found only a handful of artists, and after calling each and everyone of them, Master Chia Yi Lin and Master Chin-Yi Yen, both very experienced lacquer thread sculpture artists, agreed to conduct an interview with us. Mr Lin and Mr Yen are one of the few remaining artists in Taiwan who practice lacquer threat sculptures as a profession, and they provided us first hand experience of practicing lacquer thread sculpture; at one point during the interview, several of our team members were fortunate enough to try out lacquer thread sculpture for the very first time! Without Mr Lin and Mr Yen, our project would’ve been impossible to complete; not only did they help us gather the information we needed, Mr Lin and Mr Yen filled us with awe by granting us the opportunity to experience the delicate art of lacquer thread sculpture hands-on.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

During researching on the chosen topic “Lacquer Thread Sculpture,” the group made interesting discoveries of the passion individuals possess in their own fields. Since the website requires in-depth knowledge, our group decided to have interviews with two different professionals in regards to Lacquer Thread Sculpting. The group always thought that interviewing professionals would be challenging since they are hard to reach. Surprisingly, after contacting them for the first few times, they immediately agreed to our interview. Not only did they welcome us to their homes, one of them also showed us how to perform lacquer sculpting in their workplace and gave us the lacquer thread that we made as souvenirs. Overall, the experience of reaching out and visiting professionals that embraced us with warmth and generosity surprised us the most.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 8519)

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