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Introduction of BeHere & Research and Concept

The first year of the Jockey Club Augmented Reality in Arts Education Project officially started on 2 October 2021. Led by Assoc Prof. Thomas Tsang and Professor Leung Mee Ping, participants separated into four groups to explore four historical streets in Yau Ma Tei: Reclamation Street, Shanghai Street, Temple Street, and Portland Street. Participants examined on-site objects, architecture, and shops on the streets as well as interviewed locals. Through this research, the teams laid a foundation to begin developing their preliminary conceptual framework for their AR scenes. Participants also attending an Open Introductory Lecture by Masaki Fujihata at Hong Kong Baptist University’s Academy of Visual Arts where he presented the conceptualisation and process of his AR public art project “HKACT! Act 1 BeHere” (2018) and how it was used to interpret and developed a new interdisciplinary AR art educational project; this very Jockey Club Augmented Reality in Arts Education Project.
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Content Finalization

On day 2 at the University of Hong Kong, participants finalised content for their AR scenes based on the Yau Ma Tei field research. Thomas and Leung Mei Ping introduced the theme of this year’s project: Be There (2071). Drawing from the Masaki Fujihata’s HKACT! Act 1 BeHere AR project which serves as the catalyst for this education project, participants conversely imagine from the perspective of the future looking back at the now as history. Taking in turns to present, the groups shared their brainstorming process and storyboards. It was a joy to see many of the participants still excited and made individual appointments with Thomas and Leung Mei Ping for further discussion.
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Scenographic preparation for Photogrammetry

Art professionals from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts led hair-styling, makeup, and props workshops before participants apply the knowledge to prepare scenographic materials for the photogrammetry session. Each group selected a group member to model, decided the costumes and make up, as well as sourced props within the HKAPA stock room based on the concepts and scenes finalised in the previous workshop. A reference image was then taken of the models to use during the photogrammetry session.
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Photogrammetry &Post-production

At the Hong Kong Design Institution (HKDI), participants partook in the photogrammetry session and its post-production. The chosen models donned their selected costumes and makeup, ready for the shoot in HKDI’s Photogrammetry Lab. 102 cameras are set up in a cage which enables one model with minor props to be captured into 3D with a single snapshot. As the photogrammetry lab can only accommodate 1 group at a time and needed 20 minutes to shoot and process a scene, other groups patiently set up their scenes and finalised makeup for the big shoot. Participants were not involved in the post-production process as it is too complicated to walk through, though they still had a chance to experience how HKDI professionals use the software to clean up and retouch the data to create the 3D photogrammetry scene.
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Developing and Execution of AR Public Art Project

The journey of component 1 made its final stop at Tai Kwun to see and test each groups’ 3D scenes as augmented reality. As the final exhibition for the first year of the Jockey Club Augmented Reality in Arts Education Project will take place in various spaces in Tai Kwun, the heritage site would serve as a site visit for the soon-to-be trainers as well as a space to see their efforts come to life. While exploring the different corners of Tai Kwun, participants were prompted with many considerations when choosing a space to present their AR scenes. How can the environment help facilitate the narrative and/or concept of their AR scene? How do the light, surrounding objects, and/or passersby affect the presentation of the AR scene? Each group finally also had an opportunity to present, share, and discuss their AR scene whilst reflecting over weeks of their hard work and learning coming into fruition. What a journey it has been.