Bamboo Theatre is a traditional Chinese architecture for performing Cantonese opera during festivals. It is a combination of local culture, art, craftsmanship and thousand years of architectural wisdom. Unfortunately, the technique almost disappeared in China and many of the theatres are now replaced by metallic structures. Hong Kong is nearly the only place where Bamboo Theatre can still be found. With the help of AR/VR technology, we would like to capture and introduce to the world the beauty of this unique architecture.
What is Bamboo Theatres?
Bamboo Theatres are temporary bamboo structures erected during Chinese traditional festivals. They are built within various communities and neighbourhoods in Hong Kong and Cantonese Operas will be performed. It is one of the Intangible Cultural Heritage items of Hong Kong.
The entire theatre uses bamboos and wood canes for structure, metal sheets for façade, and wood panels for floor. All parts are tied together only by wires and thus can be easily demolished and reused for the next festival. Without using a single nail, the structure can still house hundred or even thousand of audience.
Each bamboo cane has different strength depending on its length, width and dryness. No precise calculation can be made. All judgements are based on the architects’ own experience, knowledge and skills learnt from their master, and pass on from generations to generations. Apart from the theatre itself, the huge colourful entrance panels are also an essential element of the Bamboo Theatre. They contain event title, sponsers’ name, blessing phrases and graphics. All of them are handmade or handwritten, which make each panel unique.
Since every parts of the Bamboo Theatre are different, our biggest challenge is to capture the organic form while at the same time showing the structural pattern.