05 Huei-Ting Tsai

Huei-Ting Tsai

During the Japanese colonial era, the government established bamboo weaving workshops in Guanmiao and Zhushan, which facilitated Taiwan’s transition from bamboo crafts as everyday items to an industry model. However, around 1956, the influx of plastic products into the market affected Guanmiao’s bamboo weaving industry, leading it to shift towards rattan processing. It was the foundation of bamboo weaving that enabled the rise of the rattan furniture industry in Guanmiao.

Craftswoman Huei-Ting Tsai founded “Bamboo Says” workshop in Tainan, with a deep connection to the local community. She extensively explored Guanmiao and Longqi, studying works by Tainan’s bamboo artisans such as Yong-chong Mo, Ming-hui Weng, and Jing-zhi Lu. She visited local elders to learn their bamboo weaving techniques, emphasizing craft education to promote Tainan’s bamboo art culture. Huei-Ting Tsai believes that bamboo weaving requires logical thinking, and splitting bamboo demands precise control of the bamboo-splitting knife, as it affects the final aesthetics and load-bearing capability. For bamboo artisans, bamboo splitting is the most challenging due to the dimensions of the bamboo strips. The design process starts with material handling. She advocates for “old items, new uses,” or repurposing traditional materials for modern applications. Examples include transforming fish traps into bags, or reusing trap covers as coffee filters. Crafts can address contemporary issues, as demand remains relevant and adaptable over time.

Crafts embody culture and history. Their functions and techniques remain applicable in modern times despite changing needs. Huei-Ting Tsai’s exploration and innovation highlights the diverse applications of crafts, underscoring their continued significance in the modern world.

Bamboo Weaving

  • Deconstructing the traditional bamboo craft, transforming into aesthetic craft that resonate with daily life
  • Economic value of bamboo crafts supports environmental protection of bamboo
  • Relationship between craftsmanship and environmental ethics

Huei-Ting Tsai, building upon the foundation of traditional bamboo art techniques, ingeniously integrates Tainan’s humanities and lifestyle aesthetics into her bamboo art creations. She uses bamboo and rattan to create baskets, lampshades, furniture, and other pieces, combining modern needs with the beauty of bamboo art. By deconstructing traditional craftsmanship and reassembling it to meet contemporary demands, Huei-Ting Tsai intertwines bamboo art with present-day culture. Her efforts not only enrich Tainan’s cultural heritage but also bring benefits in terms of social aesthetics, promoting the inheritance and development of bamboo art culture. For traditional craft masters in Canada, natural materials are closely linked to human life. Sustainability is one of Canada’s core values, reflecting respect for the natural environment, and Huei-Ting Tsai’s works resonate greatly.

Craft masters infuse local humanities and lifestyle aesthetics into their creations, endowing their works with unique regional flavours and cultural characteristics. Cultural heritage shared through aesthetics promotes appreciation for diverse cultures. Natural material craftsmanship not only embodies practicality and aesthetics but also underscores the close connection between humans, nature, and culture. This kind of exchange and innovation fosters a more harmonious society and a more fulfilling cultural exchange.

Products of this artwork