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‘Tin Hau Temple, Joss House Bay, HK’ by Yumi Li

In this project, we are required to produce a digital story about an object which is related to my journey to conservation. In my video, I shared about the story of my personal attachment to Tin Hau Temple. The reflection of digital storytelling workshop can be divided into 2 parts, creating a story and visualising it.

When deciding on what kind of story I was going to tell, it provides me a good chance to reflect on my way to become a conservation student. Instead of sharing the enlightening moment which sparks me to pursue on this career path, I wanted to talk about the rewarding moment as a conservator. The process of stepping into the society, putting theories into practice and realising that the real world is entirely different from the textbook could be very despairing. Therefore, I would like to share the motivation of continuing my conservation aspiration to my classmates and as a reminder to myself. There was a session in which my classmates and I shared our own drafted stories to each other. My classmates gave me precious feedback on what they like and what they think could be improved. It also allows me to look at my story from a different angle. For instance, they commented that my story was very educational, especially the part about the fishing communities. They would like to know more about that community. I actually never thought of making an educational video. Knowing what the audience are interested in helps me convey a better story. What’s more, it is very enjoyable to listen to my classmates’ stories. It is a good way to understand them a bit more.

In terms of visualising my story, I chose photos which were taken from different angles to help the audience to understand the temple better. Finding a historic photo which was captured from the same angle as my short video clip was the most challenging part. Towards the end of my digital story, I added a short video clip of the waves at the harbour where fishermen used to dock their boats. My plan was to first show an old photo of rows of boats docking at the harbour, followed by a video clip of the same harbour with not a single boat now. This is to compare the past and present and express a desolate and heavy feeling. By creating such atmosphere, the rewarding moment when seeing the smiles of people from the fishing communities would be more outstanding and memorable to the audience. Yet, it is quite difficult to find a historic photo from the exact same angle. If I were in Hong Kong, I would visit the temple and take a video clip according to the old photo. Yet, I were not in Hong Kong and it is not a very accessible place where I could easily ask my friends to take a picture for me. At last, I used a photo which is of similar view. The transition is not as good as I imagined, but it is probably the best I could achieve with the resources I had on hand. When I was making this video, I planned to take a new video clip so as to improve this part once I go back to Hong Kong. However, I was told that the temple was closed to public right now due to re-roofing work. On top of that, General Cheung would not be the temple keeper anymore in the future. After knowing these sad news, I am very glad that I chose to tell the story of the fishing communities and the temple. It will be an important record of not only my career path as an emerging conservator, but also my strong bonding with the temple and the people there.

Storytelling and video editing skills are particularly significant in the post covid era when museums tend to present the exhibits digitally or virtually. The workshop was quite practical and I enjoyed it very much. Hopefully I would have a chance to practice these skills in my field very soon.