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An exhibition on small wooden crafts kicked off at the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute (NTCRI) in Nantou County on Nov. 27. Featuring the works of local woodwork brands, studios and individual artisans, the show will also go on the road next year starting with Pingtung County in southern Taiwan.
Between 1999 and 2003, the NTCRI held an annual competition for small woodcrafts, aiming to stimulate the local crafts industry and to encourage artistic creations. Although the competition has been halted for several years since, wooden artworks still stood out in other NTCRI-sponsored craft art competitions, while the commonly practiced woodcraft has led to the establishment of new brands and styles.
As a creative material, wood is soft, warm and full of life, said NTCRI Director Hsu Keng-hsiu, noting that by looking at the wood's natural textures, we seem to gain a glimmer of understanding on how trees grow in the woods. The artisans start with the simplest elements to create their own styles, completing their works with polish and flair, he added.
"A Traveling Exhibition for Small Wooden Creations” has three sections, with the first one introducing local artisans who've inherited traditional carpentry skills and have since introduced new innovations to the centuries-old craft. Some featured artists from this section are second-generation woodworkers who've inherited the family business, and have since devoted themselves to combining existing resources with new techniques and modern aesthetics to create a new look for the humble wood.
Displayed in the second section are woodenware created with rich imagination, including a rabbit, a flock of birds, a clown, and a little prince. They are full of playfulness and humor, bringing warmth and nourishment to the soul.
The third section presents woodwork that combine individual creativity with aspects from daily life. The exhibit features items such as cup mats, a clock, and a cupboard that are mostly inspired by everyday life and routine, hoping to provide more choices for consumers to "live a happy life.”
The exhibitors include 22 woodwork brands, including Wood Design and Smangus that are run by the founders' third generation, as well as Nameless Tree and Carpenter, which are run by second-generation carpenters. Other exhibitors are new brands, including Moody Woody Design, Mufun Design Studio, and Mai Gong Fang. Individual artisans Lee Yi-hsiung and Chung Li-kai are also featured in the exhibition running from Nov. 27 to April 12, 2014.
Woodwork DIY events and fun competitions are available during that period, after which the exhibition will be moved to the Pingtung Art Museum at the southern tip of Taiwan. For more information, please visit the event website at www2.ntcri.gov.tw/2013woodenware/.