VIDEO: Family continues passing on skills of paper lantern-making

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 24 July, 2019
By: Shirley Lin

Father and son working on their paper lanterns

Traditional crafts face an uncertain future in Taiwan. But one father and son duo in Yunlin County insists on preserving their family’s special skill: making paper lanterns the traditional way.

Lin Chung-hsien’s family has been in the paper lantern business for a long time. His generation is the fifth to run the family lantern shop in Beigan, Yunlin County. Lin has been practicing this traditional craft for over 40 years. He demands that everything be done the old-fashioned way, from splitting bamboo strips with a knife, to plastering paper on to the bamboo frames, and finally painting each lantern by hand.

Lin does not use any sketches or plans for his lanterns. He works quickly, too, creating lifelike paintings of dragons in no time.

Now, Lin’s son is learning the art too. This son is adding his own updates to traditional designs, even painting cartoon characters if customers request them. Lin disapproves: he says lanterns must depict sacred characters.    [FULL  STORY]

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