Chen Ching-lung (陳金龍), the government-designated preserver of the building and restoration of ceremonial Wang Ye boats, passed away on March 12 at the age of 79. Culture Minister Shih Che conveyed his heartfelt sympathies upon receiving the news.
MOC will instruct the Bureau of Cultural Heritage to fully assist Chen's family with funeral arrangements and present Chen with a posthumous certificate of appreciation in recognition of his lifelong dedication to constructing and restoring Wang Ye boats, as well as his efforts in promoting and continuing the craft.
Born in 1945 in Tainan City, Chen began learning to build boats in his uncle's shipyard at the age of 13. In the early days, Chen mainly built wooden fishing boats, but later constructed Wang Ye boats for various temples and repaired antique boats. Chen's talent and knowledge have made him an important maker of Wang Ye boats in the Anping area, and over the years he has made more than 30 such boats, all showing the particular Anping characteristics in their production methods, workmanship, and aesthetics.
He was a very special boatbuilder because normal boatbuilders only specialized in one type of boat-building method, but Chen was familiar with and skilled in both traditional fishing boats and the restoration and building of Wang Ye boats. He was well-versed in the knowledge and process required for the making of such boats. However, this technique is on the brink of extinction but holds significant value for preservation. In recognition of his expertise, the Tainan City Government named him as a preserver of the art of Wang Ye boat construction and restoration in 2020.
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