The Hainan Boatbuilder of Pangkor Island
This ongoing, collaborative, transdiscipinary research-creation project was undertaken to digitally capture, archive and preserve the livelihood of the Hainan Boatbuilder of Pangkor Island, Perak, Malaysia thereby contributing to the cultural heritage of the country. The traditional process of building large wooden fishing boats comprises both intangible (tacit knowledge) and tangible (built) forms of heritage that could soon disappear due to contemporary issues. Thus the over riding urgency for this kind of research. The Pangkor boatbuilders do not have specific blueprints for each boat that is classified as 65 to 120 tonnes based on a license by Department of Fisheries. Boats can take up to four months to construct, entirely by hand, using simple tools. Currently there are only five such teams remaining on Pangkor Island. Mr Goh is the only Hainan master boatbuilder on the island and he has been in the industry for over 40 years. Through the use of archived content this project begins to mediate a narrative to educate and advance transmedia research. It seeks to gauge audience interest and survey the resulting impact of the presented content. The Hainan Boatbuilder brings to light a deeply personal story of a fading Malaysian heritage and presents it for a contemporary audience to experience. It is dedicated to Mr. Goh and his team of talented craftsmen.