Early Taiwanese architecture most often used wood. The maintenance of these historical buildings may require tremendous effort and expense.
Government expenditure for the high maintenance and restoration can actually be reduced if high quality wood was selected at the beginning of construction.
Rampant termite treat
On the other hand, terminate infestation poses a threat to the safety of the residents and jeopardizes the groundsill integrity.
“Taiwan is located in a subtropical region where termites reproduce at a rapid rate,” said the Deputy Officer of the Headquarters for the Administration of Cultural Heritage in Taiwan.
Termite pesticide may harm people’s health
The most common anti-pesticide in Taiwan is copper chrome arsenate (CCA) but the waste management of CCA can produce toxic gases with environmental consequences.
Some profiteers under the guise of promoting anti-pesticide in fact abuse pesticide waste management that harm people’s health.
Other solution to prolong your house’s life
There are still some natural ways to keep your house in a healthy condition.
“Many problems arise from poor ventilation; therefore, keeping houses well ventilated and dry would prolong its life,” said Mr. Chang Yu-Huang, architect and CEO of Foundation of Historic City Conservation and Generation.
Many people mistakenly believe that the durability of reinforced concrete structural buildings is better than wooden structures.
In fact, reinforced concrete buildings can be preserved at most up to 90 years, yet the world’s oldest wooden building is thousands of years old, such as the Horyuji Temple in Japan.
The most intact wooden architecture in Taiwan is the Tainan Wooden Octagon which is 160 years old.
“Wooden houses are like the elderly. Keep the windows ventilated and you would prolong their life,” said Mr. Chang Yu-Huang.
Dongyang Woodcarving, developed in Zhejiang Province, China since Tang Dynasty (618-907), is characterized by its exquisite relief carving. Each piece of work goes through 6 making processes and requires excellent craftsmanship to accomplish the delicate design. Despite its fame, it encounters the problem of shrinking number of new blood and lack of creativity. Alerted to the worrying situation, institutions and individuals have taken steps to reverse the situation and it has been proved to be a successful story of preserving traditional craftsmanship.
A girl interprets her vision and hearing about the village where she comes from, the Wa tribe in China, and the imagery of the village and movements of villagers are like a documentary vividly presented within her mind. The Wa tribe is undergoing the cultural transformation, and Wa wood drum becomes the crucial cultural element for them to reclaim and preserve what they have missed from the ancestors.
Bucheli and Chlefeli are two charming wooden instruments that are not widely known, and rarely played and manufactured nowadays. Although they are simple and easy to play, the unique sound features enabled them to accompany well with other musical instruments.
The beautiful Venice Gondola made with the skill that represents the refinement of Italian craftsmanship passed down from 16 and 17 century, is a cultural heritage that embodies values and stories of it. The launching ceremony for blessing presented in this video enables viewers to have a better insight of this traditional woodcraft.
Located in Central Japan, Gifu prefecture connects main roads to the west and the east coast. This makes it a suitable hub for log transporting and trading.
In the auction season, people come to Gifu Precious Wood Market and try bidding the precious wood they want. Auctioneers open the bids and start to read each specific price in a unique rhythm repeatedly to maintain the intensity of the atmosphere. In such an ambience, people will raise their price continuously and get the bid in a snap!
In front of the office, there stands a monument engraved with the words “Wood’s Soul”, which shows the homage Gifu people pay to the wood. They believe that the wood has guarded and protected them for hundreds of years.
Nagoya is in the west part of Aichi prefecture. It is located in the Ch?bu region between Tokyo and the ancient capital Kyoto hence people also name it Central Capital. Famous for its car industry with Toyota and other brands, Nagoya is the fourth most populated city in Japan.
In this industrialized city, there still lives a group of people who try to preserve the ancient Japanese wood culture. Some are struggling between the reality of life and their ideals of protecting traditional techniques, while some has made a fortune transforming wood art into business.
For example, Mr. Makoto Kuroda is a famous wooden chessboard master who insists to make woodcrafts in a traditional way in spite of the fierce competition of machine products or Chinese hand-made products. On the other hand, Mr. Tatsuro Hioki owns a chain restaurant serving crabs and Japanese cuisine. The restaurant is famous for its wooden interior design and it is popular among Japanese and people from around the world.
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.