The National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute (NTCRI) will stage "Lifelike: Taiwan-Japan Bird Carving Crafts Exhibition" at its Taipei Branch from Jan. 26 through March 24 to showcase 53 works by Taiwanese and Japanese sculptors.
Wood is a symbol of growth as well as the gentle and humble character of Eastern cultures. The origins of wood-based crafts in Taiwan can be traced to three different schools ― Zhangzhou, Quanzhou, and Fuzhou ― from Fujian Province that deal with bird and floral subjects in a more abstract approach. Nowadays, however, such traditions have incorporated multicultural influences and aesthetics to give rise to a higher degree of creativity and a wider range of forms.
For the upcoming Taipei exhibition, avian is the subject, wood is the medium, and sculpture is the form. Featured artists will include award-winning sculptors like Lee Yi-rong (李宜融) and Huang Lin-ming (黃麟鳴) who have dedicated years to observing their feathery subjects. With Lee and Huang's help, seven members of the Japan Bird Carving Association (JBCA), including association president Haruo Uchiyama (內山春雄), will also join "Lifelike."
With support from the Endemic Species Research Institute, Forestry Bureau, Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, National Museum of Natural Science, and Taiwan Original Vision Communication Company, the exhibition will also offer audiovisual multimedia, literary works, and biological specimens to help raise awareness of the ecological significance of wild birds and the modern dangers that they face.
From utilitarian to educational, bird carving now serves an important role in promoting ecological conservation. The "Lifelike" exhibition will incorporate Taiwan's traditional wood arts with environmental education and recent advancements in international crafts to highlight the importance of harmonious coexistence and collective sharing of resources. Upon its conclusion on March 26, the exhibition will be relocated to the Endemic Species Research Institute for display.