3D archive preserving kung fu styles for future generation
KUNG fu master Wong Yiu-kau stands in a Hong Kong studio and waits as his black suit is covered head to toe in reflective markers to capture his every motion.
The lights dim and Wong launches into a flurry of hand strikes, blocks and leg moves as two directors watch his movements on computer screens.
The 56-year-old is part of the world’s first 3D martial arts archive, a project that aims to digitally preserve a tradition that experts fear is at risk of disappearing.
“When I was a student, I was taught the moves and given a manual to read. Now there is this where it’s recorded and preserved with precision,” said Wong, an expert in the Southern Dragon style of kung fu. kung fu’s popularity has waned in recent years, and there’s concern that the martial arts form will be lost to future generations.
The 3D project — the Hong Kong Martial Arts Living Archive — aims to capture and preserve more than 400 different kung fu styles. So far, about 50 have been recorded for posterity.