A workshop founded by the Bureau of Cultural Heritage for cultivating heritage restoration specialists began operations on May 31 with a plaque-unveiling ceremony presided by Deputy Minister of Culture Hsiao Tsung-huang (蕭宗煌) at the Cultural Heritage Park in central Taiwan.
The ceremony was accompanied by an exhibition on restored wooden carvings from artisan Li Ping-kuei (李秉圭) — who has been recognized by the government as an important preserver of the art of ornamental wood carving — and a demonstration of the workshop's carpentry-training program headed by temple architect Hsu Han-chen (許漢珍).
The Deputy Minister noted that there is currently a shortage of traditional craftspeople capable of restoring Taiwan's cultural sites, historical buildings, memorials, and indigenous assets. After a nationwide survey in 2018, the Bureau of Cultural Heritage began planning for a workshop that could serve as a base for cultivating and coaching restoration specialists.
The workshop, he added, kicked off a series of restoration courses on May 29. In the preliminary stage, the workshop will mainly provide carpentry and wall-plastering courses. Afterwards, it will add decorative painting, wood carving, and clay sculpturing to its training roster to cultivate a wider range of restoration specialists to meet current demands and pass on invaluable techniques.
The Ministry of Culture hopes that exhibitions and demonstrations at the Cultural Heritage Park in Taichung would help the general public learn more about Taiwan's traditional restoration techniques, while the workshop will pass down the unwavering spirit and restoration techniques of traditional architects to more aspiring craftspeople.
In addition to the carpentry and wall-plastering courses at the workshop, the Ministry of Culture will also work with the Ministry of Education to provide vocational school teachers in Taitung with seminars on advanced carpentry techniques so that they can further hone their profession in this field and cultivate more restoration talents for Taiwan.
More information can be found at the workshop's official Facebook page.