Digitalizing the Matsu Festival Celebration: The Study and Application of Value-Added Creative Methods to Taiwan Folk Culture and Art

poster / demo / art installation
  1. 1. Chun-Wen Chen

    Chang Gung University

  2. 2. Su-Chu Hsu

    Taipei National University of the Arts

  3. 3. Jia-Ming Day

    Taipei National University of the Arts

  4. 4. Cheng-Wei Lin

    Taipei National University of the Arts

Work text
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In August 2009, Mazu belief and customs were formally inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (2013)1. Worship of Mazu has long been the folk belief with the largest numbers of believers and temples in Taiwan. It is a deeply rooted faith for Taiwanese. The folk belief has been developed from Taiwan’s immigrant society and maritime culture. Mazu is a goddess transformed from an ordinary female who can protect people on the sea from disasters. Worship of Mazu has spread to more than 20 countries around the world, and has had a profound impact on the majority of the faithful. The artist Chin-Hsin Lin has spent 20 years completing the giant 124 m woodcut prints Celebrating the Mazu Festival. It records the celebrations of the most important religious deity in Taiwan with rich details. The prints, exhibited in many museums abroad, have received international recognition. The Celebrating the Mazu Festival prints are not only artworks but also a part of Taiwan folk culture. Because of the richness of the work, we believe the cultural spirit and content can be expressed through multiple-sensory interactions in digital media.

Based on the longest woodcut print scroll in the world, Celebrating the Mazu Festival, one of the most important Taiwan folk cultural artwork, we propose an interdisciplinary project Digitalizing the Mazu Festival Celebration: The Study and Application of Value-Added Creative Methods to Taiwan Folk Culture and Art. We use digital methods to create it with value-added applications of digital media, such as animation, web site, interactive installation, and mobile app. The goals of the project are as follows:

To complete Taiwan's first digital animation of Celebrating the Mazu Festival.
To add value to the longest woodcut print scroll in the world by applying interactive motion-sensing technology in installation art.
To use the Celebrating the Mazu Festival folk culture material to construct Web 2.0 and mobile social media with creative application design.
To integrate humanistic art, media technology, and cultural and creative industries, to develop the new concept “interactive & digital” culture in Taiwan, and to transfer the experience to education and industry.
This integrated project consists of three sub-projects: (1) The Analysis and Design of Cultural and Creative Content: content analysis and animation creation; (2) The Study and Development of Interactive Display Technology: development of motion-sensing and mobile technologies; and (3) The Application of the Innovative Display Model: design and construction of the web exhibition and interactive installation. The first sub-project uses the Mazu Festival Celebration theme and create varied artistic forms with animated image technology to present Taiwan folk culture. In the second sub-project, we study and develop motion-capture and related innovative display technologies.

This paper focuses on the third sub-project that applies multiple senses and interaction in digital media to represent the cultural content. Integrating information graphics, navigational design, and a dynamic visual style is the design approach. This sub-project consists of three parts: (1) Web Exhibition Hall: To design the information architecture and navigation system, to design and produce the Web Exhibition Hall with 67 prints on the exhibition web; (2) Web Creative Displays: To create Web Creative Displays on selected web pages with interactive information graphics to create deep understanding of the cultural content; (3) Interactive Installation: To design and build the physical installation, and to integrate animated content, artistic form, and motion-sensing technologies in the “Celebrating the Mazu Festival” Interactive Installation. The process and results show the possibility of integration of folk art and digital media.

1. UNESCO. (2013). Mazu belief and customs. Retrieved January 20, 2013, from

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Conference Info


ADHO - 2014
"Digital Cultural Empowerment"

Hosted at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Université de Lausanne

Lausanne, Switzerland

July 7, 2014 - July 12, 2014

377 works by 898 authors indexed

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Attendance: 750 delegates according to Nyhan 2016

Series: ADHO (9)

Organizers: ADHO