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The Power of Technology in Promoting Our Vibrant Culture

Highlights from the inaugural Huawei Tech4City Community event (Culture)

[Singapore, 8 August, 2022] On 27 July 2022, Huawei held its second installment of the Tech4City Community event, themed Culture. Titled "The Power of Technology in Promoting Our Vibrant Culture", the event brought together a group of distinguished industry experts, including Mr Lim Hong De, Tech Enabler at Hiverlab; Mr Marc Yap, Art Director at DarkMeta and Dr Nikhil Joshi, Senior Lecturer, and Associate Director, Graduate Programmes in Architectural Conservation, Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore (NUS).

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In the lead up to Singapore’s upcoming 57th birthday, panellists discussed the importance of using technology to maintain and preserve the nation's rich and diverse melting pot of culture and heritage. Participants at the event also had the opportunity to network with industry experts and bond with other like-minded team members.

The event began with speeches from the three speakers who shared their perspectives and recommendations on how technology supports and enhances cultural preservation and education.

The session covered the following topics:

1.1 Using tech to connect heritage with the present and future Speaker: Dr Nikhil Joshi, Senior Lecturer and Associate Director, Graduate Programme in Architectural Conservation, Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore (NUS)

In his speech, Dr Nikhil shared his insight into culture and how it is unique to each city; he focused specifically on tangible heritage with reference to Singapore's national monuments and buildings within conservation areas. Dr. Nikhil also shared that as technology in 3D printing continues to advance, heritage preservation and technology will continue to intertwine. Equipped with the ability to accurately scan, print and replicate historical monuments, the 3D prints capture the smallest details of the monuments, enabling them to be used as displays in museums. By replicating these historical monuments, cultural awareness will increase as the historical monuments will have a wider and farther reach.

At the end of his speech, Dr. Nikhil also emphasised the importance of understanding that technology should not be viewed as a replacement for the traditional craftsmanship of culture and heritage but rather as a tool to educate and build awareness.

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"Technology should not be seen as a replacement for traditional craftsmanship. It is a tool to help with documenting and to preserve cultural heritage. By raising awareness, people would then take care of it, enjoy it and have a better understanding of their own heritage, "said Dr Nikhil.

1.2 Chinese Folklore coming to life in Web 3.0, with technologies from games industry Speaker: Mr Marc Yap, Art Director at DarkMeta

During his speech, Marc shared how technology has skyrocketed in the world's shift to a post pandemic world, emphasising that culture will continue to be represented in many forms and ways due to these advancements. During the session, he showcased his vast portfolio, demonstrating how he has created and used a series of culturally inspired Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) as a medium to connect and educate communities, bringing them closer to culture.

Marc continued by highlighting a personal project titled ‘The Dark Zodiac’. He shared that the first installment of the NFT series embodies the story of the Chinese Zodiac, while the second installment titled “The Dark Zodiac 2” retains the original Chinese storyline of the Zodiac race with a twist. In the second series, he incorporates the other animals that participated in the race, inventing a storyline of what happened to the rest of the animals that did not finish the zodiac race. The use of NFT’s to convey the Chinese Zodiac Race while ensuring cultural accuracy is an effective demonstration of how technology and culture intertwines to help increase cultural awareness and engagement amongst individual.

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"The digital asset class of NFT is facing its first bear market cycle. Many developments will continue to happen in the blockchain and game development space. And with these developments, culture will continue to be represented across many different ways and areas," said Marc.

1.3 Preserving culture and heritage using immersive technology Speaker: Mr Lim Hong De, Tech Enabler at Hiverlab

Hong De views the current technologies as a great opportunity to preserve culture, heritage and history. He further explains that leveraging technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), presents a good opportunity to create an engaging and meaningful experience for consumers to connect to their culture and heritage.

An example that Hong De highlighted was their Chingay 2020 Augmented Reality (AR) Broadcasting experience where a mobile based AR feed was transmitted to the web broadcast of the Chingay Parade. Through the live broadcast, Hiverlab leveraged the use of AR to bring the cultural elements of the parade to life. By leveraging such technologies, users were able to have a more immersive culture and heritage experience at the parade.

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"It is a really exciting time for cultural and heritage preservation, considering how we can educate and inspire more people through the use of AI, Web 3.0 and immersive technology. These are definitely the tools that will help us elevate the way we learn and preserve our culture," said Hong De.

Upcoming Huawei Tech4City Community Event Neighbour, 25 August 2022

The information and communications technology (ICT) industry, particularly in Singapore, is critical to promoting economic growth and social well-being. The Republic is one of the most wired cities and technologically advanced ICT markets in the world, but the digital revolution has left some segments of society behind.

How can we reconnect our neighbours, connect the unconnected, and empower the underserved communities with technology? How can we keep our kampong spirit alive and build an inclusive society?

This August, in our final edition of the Tech4City Community event, our esteemed speakers from public service, a non-profit organisation, the community, and Huawei will discuss and share insights on the power of technology in creating a social impact while addressing the needs of people from different walks of life. Sign up here.

For more details about the Huawei Tech4City Competition and how to sign up, please click here: