QiVMDL - Towards a Socially Constructed Virtual Museum and Digital Library for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage: A Case of the Chinese “Qipao”

QiVMDL - Towards a Socially Constructed Virtual Museum and Digital Library for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage: A Case of the Chinese “Qipao”

Yin-Leng Theng (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), Yanling Luo (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) and Gladys Theng Sau-Mei (Northeast Normal University, China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0900-6.ch016
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Abstract

Museums and libraries are treasure houses of human history and knowledge with rich repositories on cultural heritage. With advanced technological developments in digital libraries and Web 2.0, cultural institutions are beginning to explore new forms of universal and dynamic accessibility. Using a case example of the Chinese “qipao”, this paper proposes a socially constructed virtual museum prototype incorporating interactivity of Web 2.0 to promote cultural communication and exchange while improving user interaction and participation. In this paper, the authors describe the design, prototyping, and evaluation process of QiVMDL (Qipao Virtual Museum and Digital Library). The paper concludes with implications for digital library research and development supporting virtual museums for the preservation of cultural heritage.
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Case Study: The Chinese “Qipao”

The “qipao” is widely regarded as traditional Chinese costume, better known in the western countries by its Cantonese name “cheongsam”. It is a figure-delineating side-fastening woman's dress with a high-necked collar and slits on both sides, assuming the status of the Chinese national dress during the twentieth century. In its original form, it is a formal garment of Manchurian women in the Qing Dynasty. Later, its design and style had been altered by Han women after continual improvement and evolution with western clothing styles.

Now it becomes a fashion statement and a symbolic expression of Chinese, Chinese values as constitutive pasts of ‘Asia values’ (e.g., Steele, 1999; Yang, 2003; Chua, 2003; Rowley & Jefferies, 1999). The “qipao” has its unique national style and oriental artistic aesthetics as the cultural heritage (Liu, 2009). This research project is supported by the Singapore Fashion Designers’ Society and Northeast Normal University (China). It is motivated by the need to make resources on “qipao” accessible to more people, and provide interactive ways of learning about “qipao” over the Internet.

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