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Miaofa Temple and Shengong Temple: Digital preservation Scarin, Jacopo; Zhan, Ya-Qing; Kuklinski, Thomas; Saulnier-Eagles, Emily


The video shows two temples located in New Taipei City. The first section of the video detailed the iconography, layout, and nearby points of interest of the Shengming Temple (聖明宮 Shenming Gong). It shows the temple's aerial footage as well as the surrounding environment as seen from its front. It also captures deities such as Yuhuang Shangdi (玉皇上帝), Zhongtan Yuanshuai (中壇元帥), and Xuantian Shangdi (玄天上帝). The three deities were videotaped to document how they were displayed in the temple and to get a better sense of the religious environment. The temple was chosen because its location allowed for easier drone flight because of the open airspace. The background music is produced by Benjamin Tissot (also known as Bensound), which is a song influenced by Indian musical motifs featuring a sitar, tablas and eastern music instruments such as drums, and cello. The second section of the video introduces the Miaofa Temple (妙法寺 Miaofa Si). It includes interviews with temple staff discussing the role of colour and religious architecture in the Northern Taiwan society. Typically, Temples for Queen Mother of the West (王母娘娘, Wang Mu Niang Niang) are yellow, but this one has a unique connection with Japanese traditions and is unique in its colouring. The temple workers were interviewed because they are most intimately involved with the religious tradition at the temple and can provide better answers to more specific questions regarding oral histories, unique features of the temple, and local religious traditions. From this, the video shows that when preserving a religious space digitally, it is important to document both the space itself and the people who use it. One of the advantages of video is that it captures the setting along with the action. The background music, Rain on the Parade, is produced by Freedom Trail Studio, Royalty Free Music, and is retrieved from YouTube.

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