Workshops & Performances
Create from Intangible: Intangeble Cultural Heritage Workshop Series
Date :  2017.6.25 - 2017.7.29

We invite the public to a hands-on experience that integrates contemporary life with intangible cultural heritage and witness the vibrant outcome that emerges from the collision between the two. Let us explore four exciting traditional crafts together and create tangible everyday objects from the source of our intangible creativity.

Session one: The Urban People’s Portable Landscape — Print Transfer Workshop

*We recommend a visit to the exhibition "Zhan Wang: Forms in Flux" before attending the workshop.

Woodblock printing first emerged 1,300 years ago during China’s Tang Dynasty; it is known as a "living fossil" in the history of printing. This workshop will explore the process of print transfer that has since developed from woodblock printing. We will specifically focus on using heat transfer films. The pattern to be transferred comes from the "Artificial Rocks Series" by Zhan Wang currently on view at Long Museum (West Bund). Upon creation, the artist experiments with materials through the process of sculpting, harkening back to the concept of craft in sculpture. This workshop takes inspiration from Zhan’s creative process, incorporating the beauty of landscapes into everyday objects and placing traditional craftsmanship under a spotlight in contemporary urban life. 

Session two: A Small Tribute to Thangka – Jewelry Making Workshop

*We recommend a visit to the exhibition "The Yongle Emperor’s World: Imperial Thangka and Art Works from the Yongxuan Era" before attending the workshop.

Thangka refers to religious scroll-paintings mounted on colored satins that are hung for worship. It is a unique form of painting in Tibetan culture. The subjects depicted include themes of Tibetan history, politics, culture, social life, etc. Existing as a so-called "Tibetan encyclopedia," Thangka are also a precious piece of intangible cultural heritage in Chinese folk art. The process of making a thangka can range from half a year to decades. 

This workshop will focus on making jewelry inspired by traditional Tibetan colors and weaving patterns as seen in thangkas. By embellishing life with the mystery and splendor of thangkas, the workshop seeks to create little sacred objects that pay homage to traditional craftsmanship. 

Session three: Writing Scriptures – Sutra Copying Workshop

*We recommend a visit to the exhibition "The Yongle Emperor’s World: Imperial Thangka and Art Works from the Yongxuan Era" before attending the workshop.

Writing scriptures, namely copying Buddhist sutras, has been considered an expression of Buddhist piety since ancient times. Sutra copying introduces a unique category of calligraphy known as "Jingsheng" and is considered a treasure among Chinese calligraphy art. Concerning its history, Jingsheng takes on popular calligraphy templates as its model: some are aggressive and dynamic, others are elegant and refined. The five standard scripts of seal, official, cursive, running, and regular can all be found in Jingsheng, showing that sutra copying is varied, natural, simple, and versatile. The skills and artistry involved ought to be admired by all. 

This workshop will pay tribute to this classic artistry through the technique of tracing, which involves tracing over a translucent paper laid on top the original script. Copying is the best way of learning and is indispensable. Through tracing, we can accurately reproduce the writing of ancient people, achieving a calligraphic and psychological state close to those long gone. Without imitating its brushstrokes, one can never the calligraphy of the past. By copying sutras through tracing, we not only pay tribute to the ancients who wrote them, but also improve upon our own calligraphy skills. 

Session four: A Simple and Pure Cup – Shino Ware Workshop

*We recommend a visit to the exhibition “The Yongle Emperor’s World: Imperial Thangka and Art Works from the Yongxuan Era” before attending the workshop.

The art of the handmade object is slowly being forgotten today. As technology continues to advance, our world becomes more and more monotonous. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, jobs that used to require manual labor are slowly being replaced by mechanical production. In turn, our artistry is limited to the field of “product design.” But sometimes, we need to resist technology and allow more options of enriching our lives. Drawing upon traditional Japanese handcraft, participants will use handmade clay and follow the footsteps of Sen no Rikyū and Chou Jirou to create a tea bowl different from those produced from the factory, bringing a warm taste of life back into our lives. 

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