An exhibition on the art of repairing traditional architecture and the Taiwanese artisans tasked with such specialized restorations took place at Malaysian heritage hub George Town, Penang from July 6 through 25.
Organized by the Bureau of Cultural Heritage, "Exhibition of Restoration of Traditional Architecture in Taiwan" was offered through four sections — "The Blueprints of Architecture," "Restoration of Traditional Buildings," "The Craftsmanship of Restoration," and "Sustainable Heritage Development" — to showcase Taiwan's recent advancements in preserving traditional buildings and the rich cultural, historic, and scientific values embodied by such architectural feats.
The July 7 opening was marked by an international forum on architectural restoration featuring heritage experts from Taiwan, including architect Fu Hong-jen, who oversaw the restoration of the Lukang Longshan Temple; artisan Tsao Yang-chi, recognized preserver of traditional wood construction; professor Chen Kui-wei of Fu Jen Catholic University; and professor Liou Shuenn-ren of National Cheng Kung University.
Noted Taiwanese artisan Liu Chia-cheng, painter of door deities and restorer of temple art, also held a demonstration workshop on July 14 for Penang exhibitiongoers to learn more about panel paintings in traditional architecture. Liu was named a "national living treasure" by the Ministry of Culture in June 2016 in recognition of his significant role in preserving the traditional aesthetics of Taiwanese temples.
A second demonstration workshop headed by pottery craftsman Yeh Ming-chi was held in Penang on July 21. Yeh is of the "cut and paste" school of pottery crafts, in which shards of porcelain and glass are used to decorate religious figurines and temple eaves. The technique itself originated from reusing discarded materials such as broken bowls or tiles to cut down on supply costs.
The three-week program of exhibitions and workshops marks the second event held in Penang by Taiwan's Bureau of Cultural Heritage, following "Taiwan's Cultural Heritage Overseas Exhibition (Pameran Warisan Budaya Taiwan)" in October 2017.