Creation of the xyzQin: an interpretation and re-creation of the Shosoin qin (金銀平文琴) Tang Dynasty (735AD) ; Shosoin Treasure House, Japan :: from rl-> sl -> rl.
Shuen-git Natasha Chow 周 旋 捷 2011
Visiting Associate Professor
Tainan University of the Arts
In this research-creation– the third in the serie of Digital Guqin Museum Project - we will investigate issues concerning the making of a real life Chinese musical instrument : the guqin - by deploying Virtual World 3D construction capacities and then exporting the model to real life. I will design a new guqin after the style of the locked up Shosoin qin in Nara, tentatively entitled the “xyz琴” (xyz Qin)
1// design template
2// cut wood, assemble into embryo
3// test sound with string
4// fine tuning, lacquering, fine tuning, polish
5// naming the qin
Master guqin player: Sik ChingChieh
Master guqin maker: Mr. Shan ZheYuen
Making of xyz Qin 1
Picture 1// Preparation of the deer horn into proper coating grades to mix with lacquer. 600gm crushed deer horn per qin. 300coarse grade, 200medium grade, and 100fine grade. Here, we must first scrape out the marrow of the deer horn pieces. Tools: thin, flexible wood cutter type blades, w curved cutting edge
Picture 2// The open air studio of Master Shan Zhe Yuan. The studio should be well lit and well ventilated with long working tables. We will be using a lot of natural lacquer. This liquid has a slight poison people could be allergic to it. I think its good to make two qins at a time because the drying process in between makes it that you must wait, one or two will require the same window of time. Therefore I decided to make two qins, with a different skin at the finish. And a different wood base to see the two favorite woods used. Wood no 1: over 100 year old "Shan", and Wood no 2: "tong". Mr.Shan says : the two woods are very different. "Shan" wood is deeper and darker in tone, whereas "tong" is light and bright. I think making two identical design w different variables allows us to see the difference in material.
Gold inlaid on lacquer for the skin tattoo:
2014, next and final finish will be the tattoo on the back of the qin, where I will design a special symbol to be embedded into the lacquer surface.
As for the All-Over pattern of the original Shosoin, a similar treatment might be made for the xyz.
In the original Shosoin qin, there are pictures of literati drinking, making music, creating poetry with floating cups all part of their cultural life. In our year of 2014, what might be the corresponding pictures? And have we a corresponding new technology to embed the scenes with gold in a similar way? This will be evaluated carefully and forth coming investigations:
1// design of a suitable tattoo - marking our age and attachments,
2// the method we use for creating the tattoo - should it be the traditional way or a new laser enhanced method? ,
3// should there be smart codes linked to the Qin,
4// sensors for self adjustable tuning? ,
5// using of new silk strings - prototype made of silk and Chinese medicine,
6// creation of new symbols using personal relevant symbols - this symbol may be relevant to the player/owner in context of our contemporary world.
Digital Guqin Museum research-creation: