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Taiwanese Dancers Bend Light Projections at Will

Memories of military oppression in Taiwan come to life in Hsin-Chien Huang's interactive performance.

The epic story of Taiwan's post-World War II martial rule requires an epic medium, which Storynest director Hsin-Chien Huang delivers with an interactive projection-mapped spectacle based on his memories and state-sanctioned history archives of the early Kuomintang regime. With The Inheritance, he marries the same motion-capture technology used to make Hollywood's digital actors with dystopic larger-than-life animations and real-time choreography to explore his homeland's dark past.

Huang's performance takes the stage inside the Chiang Kai-shek Auditorium at the of the old Taiwan Air Force Headquarters in Taipei, where dancers fitted with Xsens inertial motion capture suits control Huang's symbolism-laden designs in real time. In one sequence, digital dancers replicate the original's movements—then glitch and defy them—while another creates the illusion of giant hands made from TVs manipulating the dancer's movements. Their movements are streamed to Huang's workstation, so he can manipulate the show into a constantly-evolving conversation with the dancer.

“Exploration is the only way for me to understand my personal history,” Huang tells The Creators Project. Alongside The Inheritance's flashy visuals, Huang also used motion capture data from his own interaction with the Air Force Base's barricades to create a human impression of the military institution. He continues, “I want to use my hands to experience that journey, and by using the technologies like motion capture and 3D printing, I can transform the trails of my hands into tangible sculptures.”

Together, the two pieces together explore both Huang's relationship with his own memories and heritage, and the future of augmented performance art. “The future can only be changed if we invent fresh and sincere ways to understand our past,” he says.

See The Inheretance in action in the images below.

See more of Hsin-Chien Huang's work on Storynest's website.

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