2019 / April
Esther Tseng /photos courtesy of Jimmy Lin /tr. by Bruce Humes
In his 1952 book Formosa Industrial Art, Yan Shui-long, dubbed “the father of Taiwanese crafts,” proposed the creative utilization of Taiwan’s indigenous materials in the design of craft products that would conform to a contemporary lifestyle. By fusing artistic design with craftsmanship, not only could these goods be exported, they could preserve artisanal skills and nurture society’s cultural awareness, while also benefiting the national economy.
Influenced by the spirit of Yan’s vision for craft design, over the last few years a wave of emphasis on handmade crafts has quietly arisen, including recently popular hands-on “experience courses,” and the transformation of traditional craft industries via innovation. These trends can all be traced back to the establishment of the Taiwan School of Arts & Crafts.