Painting, ‘guqin’ listed as Hsinchu cultural property

  • By Hung Mei-hsiu and Kayleigh Madjar / Journalist, with editor

Hsinchu’s traditional architectural painting and guqin (古琴) have been named intangible cultural property, bringing the city’s total to six and marking the first time that the instrument has been recognized by a region.

The guqin is China’s oldest musical instrument with a history stretching back 3,000 years, the Hsinchu Cultural Affairs Bureau said last week.

Growing up in Hsinchu, Shan Chih-yuan (單 志 淵) began at a young age to learn to make traditional Chinese instruments from his father, especially stringed instruments like the guqin and ruan (阮), the office said.

Photo courtesy of Hsinchu City Government

For more than 40 years, he devoted himself to crafts, following the ancient methods of the Tang and Song dynasties which have largely been lost, he said, adding that his preference is to make every component. from scratch rather than using manufactured parts.

The detailed and colorful paintings of Fu Pai-tsun (傅? 村) have also been recorded as intangible cultural property in recognition of his more than 60 years of decorating shrines and temples.

Fu uses traditional techniques accumulated over decades of experience, including creating his own brushes and putty, the office said.

Photo: Hung Mei-hsiu, Taipei Times

He is now one of the few people versed in these methods, which he intends to pass on to his two sons, the office added.

Besides the two new additions, Lin Yao-nung (林瑤農) was also recognized as a curator of the art of glassblowing, which had previously been named intangible cultural property.

Lin, who was recognized as a national craftsman last year, has been creating glass artwork for more than four decades, the office said.

Like other culture curators, he uses traditional methods, including freehand blowing and glass molding, he said.

As one of the few glassblowers in town, Lin also passes his knowledge on to his children, as well as his students in the Hsinchu area, he added.

The other three intangible cultural assets listed in Hsinchu are wood carving, lacquer art and mother of pearl inlays.

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