Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding

Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding

Dec 12 2014

The Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding is a non-profit organization with the philosophy of "open doors, open minds". It was established in 1988, with the aim to raise awareness and demystify the local culture and customs of the United Arab Emirates. Dubai, the capital city of the UAE, used to play as an important trading spot for wood and wood used to be widely applied in people's daily lives.

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UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley

Oct 24 2014

The University of California, Berkeley, one of most prominent universities in the world, embraces not only 22 Nobel laureates in the faculty to date, but three species of sequoia on campus. The reunions of giant sequoia, coast redwood and dawn redwood have been part of the school along with a variety of trees and plants. Dr. Momei Chen, a redwood expert who has long striven to study and protect redwoods, is one of the key persons that help bringing the sequoia family together at UC Berkeley.

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 International Collaborative Wood Work Workshop

International Collaborative Wood Work Workshop

Jul 05 2014

“Turning an inconspicuous stool in the corner of kitchen into a fine exquisite piece of woodwork.” The workshop is meant to provide the opportunity for the talented woodcrafters in Taiwan to engage with the Swedish Asshoff & Brogård Designstudio and elaborate and share concepts and experience on the woodworking design.

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Spinning Tops with Special Love

Spinning Tops with Special Love

Jul 05 2014

Finger spinning tops are not merely toys but can be a token of love. A total of 150 tops traveled far and landed on the hands of the students of Wenzhou School for Special Education. It was a kind gesture by Australian woodturner Erine Newman, who was invited over to lead a two-week woodturning training course for the collaborative project of IWCS-AAW beginning September 15, 2014.  A fifth generation wood worker, Newman is active at woodturning events worldwide. Wholeheartedly involving himself in the project, Mr. Newman exerted special efforts in intriguing students’ curiosity about wood as well as instilled them with safe operation guide beyond demonstrating the skill of woodturning. More information World Wood Day. 

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Young Students Compete to Show Carpentry Skills

Young Students Compete to Show Carpentry Skills

Jul 02 2014

  The 2nd National Vocational & College Student Carpentry Skills Competition, hosted by the International Wood Culture Society (IWCS), was held in Changsha on Oct. 27, 2013.  It was co-organized by the Central South University of Forestry Science and Technology. Concurrently with the 2013 International Wood Culture Symposium on Taxodiaceae, a competition was held on making wooden stools using Chinese fir. The aim of the activity was to promote the culture of traditional Chinese woodwork, to display and improve vocational & college students' hand carpentry skills, and inspire creativity and passion for carpentry among students. Applications for the competition opened in July this year, the competition theme was confirmed in September, and design drawings were submitted a week before the competition. Sixteen students from four vocational schools and eleven universities came together on Oct. 27 to show their talents. During the four-hour competition, the students completed a variety of creative work using saws, chisels, axes, planes, using snap lines, drills, and making mortises.  Later during the assessment, every competitor explained to the audience their ideas and purposes, and the functions, features and technical difficulties of their work. The judges were Professor Yang Ping from the faculty of education, Kumamoto University in Japan; Mr. Yang Jinrong , director of the Jiangsu Gongmei Hongmu Culture & Art Institute; and Professor Li Zhen from Tongji University College of Architecture and Urban Planning.  They evaluated the works with seven criteria: design and creativity, production skill, the completion of the works, accuracy and quality, structure, material utilization and interpretation. Li Nie from the Xiuning First Senior Vocational School won first place. Wood, being a naturally eco-friendly and renewable resource, is fundamental for sustainable development, and a low-carbon society and environment. How to master the properties of wood, make full use of the material, and combine theory with practice are key elements. Wood education teachers have a long way to go and expectations on students are high. Such carpentry skill competitions should inspire more passion for wood and carpentry among young people and promote the culture of traditional Chinese carpentry to create competent practitioners for the future.

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2013 China-ASEAN Theme Carving Exposition

2013 China-ASEAN Theme Carving Exposition

Jul 02 2014

  Woodcarving Introduced to School Campus The opening ceremony for the 2013 China-ASEAN Live Wood Carving Exposition and Student Woodcarving Art Festival was held at Guangxi University.The exposition was held in the leafy, shaded square behind the Forestry College at Guangxi University. A large audience, mainly teachers and students, visited the on-site wood carving show over the first 2 days. 20 students from the university also joined the carving team for the festival, while learning and communicating with the artists. More than 200 students pursuing majors in wood science and technology took part in this activity. In tandem with the exposition and festival, Mr. Yang Jinrong, expert of Chinese Hongmu art and culture, and Mr. Terry Martin, Australian wood artist, gave the students two very impressive lectures.It was a good opportunity for the students to communicate with professional wood carvers face-to-face, and also to start the process of combining wood science with culture. Wood carving, as an art form, has taken its place on the campus. Different Cultures, One Homeland The 11 sculptors were from different cultural backgrounds and use different carving styles, but all of the works were created under the same theme, Homeland, and they all used the same scented wood, Camphor.The art works of the 4 artists from ASEAN countries reflected their lifestyles and beliefs. They shared the history and culture of South-east Asian countries with us.Malaysian artist Taufik carved the national flower of Malaysia, the Bunga Raya, while Indonesian artist Sutarya Hrfsor carved the Lotus Flower that is common to both Buddhism and Islam. Indonesian artist I Kadek Parta selected the Ramayana story from Indian history. Nature and Home, Full of Humanity and Spirit In the Chinese group, the 7 artists came from Dongyang and Yongjia of Zhejiang province, Xianyou of Fujian province, Lushan of Sichuan province, and Jianchuan of Yunnan province. Their creative works combined modern and traditional skills, reflecting their feelings and dreams about homeland. Both Xu Yongping and Jin Liquan chose the subject of mother to show their ideas about homeland. Zheng Guodi used the Chinese traditional subject Three Sheep keeping watch on the home. Yang Huanpei’s carving was like a poem and depicted his fantasy homeland, Dali. Wang Haibo, from Dongyang, Zhejiang province, was the youngest wood carver. He applied Dongyang relief carving skill and used his lively imagination to present us with a Chinese traditional scroll painting, a whole dreamland picture of Peach Blossom Valley. Wu Xiaomei’s piece was particularly thought-provoking. She showed us a broken house after the earthquake this year in Sichuan, quite a courageous choice. Wang Guohua, from Xianyou, Fujian Province, took just 2 days to finish his work. He generously incorporated the natural bark and growth-rings of the tree in his piece. As he said, “Human beings need generosity and tolerance, and so does nature. Our home should be a tolerant home.” Woodturning Show During the event, Terry Martin, Australian wood artist and a representative of the American Association of Woodturners showed his splendid woodturning technique to the audience in Guangxi University and CAEXPO. His demonstration aroused considerable interest among the crowds. Highlight of Forest and Wood Products Expo After Guangxi University, the 2013 China-ASEAN Live Wood Carving Exposition continued at the International Conference and Exhibition Center on 15-17 November, and was a highlight of the Forest and Wood Products Expo. Mr. Terry Martin, Mr. Feng Wentu, Master of Chinese arts and crafts, and Mr. Yang Jinrong, expert of Hongmu art and culture, were the judges. Zheng Guodi, Yang Huanpei, Sutarya Hrfsor, I Kadek Parta, Taufik and Duangmala Wanlop won prizes for “Outstanding Traditional Value”; Xu Yongping and Jin liqun won prizes for “Special Design”; and Wang Haibo, Wang Guohua and Wu Xiaomei won prizes for “Special Creativity”. The 2013 China-ASEAN Live Wood Carving Exposition was organized by IWCS, and co-organized by the China-ASEAN Expo Secretariat, Forestry College of Guangxi University, and Jiangsu Hongmu Culture and Arts Institute, and Supported by the China National Forest Products Industry Association, IUFRO-Division 5. Concurrently with the wood carving exposition, IWCS also organized the 4th China-ASEAN International Wood Culture Forum. Both activities promoted communication, basic academic research and the practice of wood culture in the China-ASEAN area and contributed to the integration of art and culture into the Forest and Wood Products Expo.

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A Master of Sukiya-zukuri Style Architecture-Yoshiaki Nakamura

A Master of Sukiya-zukuri Style Architecture-Yoshiaki Nakamura

Sep 22 2013

Kyoto, a city in central Honshu Island in Japan, had been the capital for Japanese emperors for centuries. Here, you can find abundant traditional craftsmanship and wooden architectures that embody the culture of ancient Japan. Many traditional wooden constructions are still well-preserved in Kyoto. For example, Ryokan-Tsukimikan, the historical hot spring hotel established in the vicinity of Ujigawa, Kyoto in 1937, features Momoyama hot springs, ancient Japanese style design and delicate wooden furniture. (Mandarin subtitle video: http://iwcs.com/archive-single-page.cfm?id=77) The architect Yoshiaki Nakamura is a master of Sukiya-zukuri, a traditional wooden architecture style incorporating tea house aesthetics with natural materials. Also, he blends in foreign elements in the hope to explore more possibilities for the traditional Japanese architecture.

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Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo

Sep 06 2012

Built in 1913, Edinburgh Zoo is a zoology park with an area of 82 acre. It lies on the Corstrorphine Hill, which not only provides extensive view of the city but also offers environment features that shape several microclimates. Therefore, Edinburgh Zoo is also characterized by collections of at least 1,200 different tree species and 3,500 plant species.  In order to create a suitable habitat for the animals, a group of trained botanic gardeners collaborate with the zoo keepers to manage the enclosure for the animals. Moreover, since the climate has changed dramatically over the past few years, the gardeners are now facing the challenge to cope with the issue.

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Royal Museum of Central Africa

Royal Museum of Central Africa

Sep 06 2012

Founded in 1898, the Royal Museum of Central Africa has the reputation of being one of the most beautiful museums devoted to display the culture of Africa. The idea to establish it germinated from the 1987 Brussels International Exhibition that displayed ethnographic objects from the Congo. Currently, the museum aims to preserve and manage its collections from countries in the central region of Africa, such as Cameroon and Congo. Imported hand-made wooden objects--such as canoe, masks, and tools—are in profusion and are accompanied with depictions that explain their cultural contexts. 

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University Leiden National Herbarium

University Leiden National Herbarium

Sep 06 2012

Dr. Pieter Baas, an expert of wood anatomy and former scientific director of the herbarium, guided us through the wooden specimen collection at the university. The herbarium is one of the world’s largest with over 5.5 million plant specimens collected from around the world over the last decades. The wooden specimens are also in profusion and they go through a series of bug-removing and maintenance processes before being stored. The experts on wood at the institution conduct researches around the world.

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