The Bureau of Cultural Heritage has curated an exhibition featuringart by renowned Taiwanese artisans - who are dubbed "national living treasures” - in Taichung from Sept. 1 through March 31, 2016.
These artisans are given the title of "national living treasures” because their trade skills are part of the nation's intangible cultural assets and their artworks represent the traditional arts of Taiwan.
Traditional crafts originated from the necessities of life, and the pursuit of aesthetics and practicality. As contemporary demand for such craft products diminish, the Ministry of Culture hopes to preserve and revitalize all six types of traditional art techniques - lacquer painting, bamboo weaving, tin crafting, Buddha sculpturing, wood carving, and paper cutting.
Curator Chen Chun-liang (陳俊良) noted that the exhibition title is taken from the last verse of a poem written by Chang Hu (張祜) of the imperial Tang dynasty: "The essence comes from the tip of a pen, but it's difficult to be hearts from craftsmen.”
Citing "hearts from craftsmen,” which means it takes a great mind and skill to complete a piece of traditional art, the exhibition will be showcasing 15 representative pieces by seven maestros, including lacquer craftsman Wang Ching-shuang (王清霜). The exhibition will allow audiences to understand and appreciate the sophisticated skills and spirit of the nation's "living treasures.”
As the saying goes,"all types of skills are art.” Although not everyone is able to serve as a preserver of traditional arts and crafts, one can understand and pass on the traditional arts through appreciation.