Traditional arts and crafts live in CLP Pulse exhibitions
【譯文】The public may have gradually forgotten some skills, calligraphy and even voices, but fortunately, some people in the corners of Hong Kong have passed on the tradition of these skills silently. A new exhibition, "Traces of Human Touch", curated by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office (ICHO) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), is displayed at the CLP Pulse from now onwards, showcasing ten traditional crafts and performing arts that are part of Hong Kong's Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), to enhance the public's understanding of the protection and preservation of ICH. The exhibition is free and open to the public with no end date. Curator of ICHO, Ms Shum Pui-yuk, said that she hoped the exhibition would showcase the collaboration between masters and apprentices to bring out the process of handing down the craft.
Guest curator Stanley Siu, in the "Traces of Human Touch" exhibition, showcases three significant areas: "Apparel and Footwear", "Ornaments and Decorations", and "Words and Sounds", with 10 Hong Kong ICH items including the Chinese Cheongsam-making technique, leather shoe-making technique, wooden furniture-crafting technique, patterned band-weaving technique, karat gold jewellery-making technique, jade carving technique, movable-type printing technique, putting up huichun (spring scrolls), seal carving technique and Nanyin (southern tunes) through physical objects, interactive installations and videos.
Stanley Siu introduced at the media tour that the younger generation of ICH practitioners will bring new ideas to the inheritance. For example, in the shoe-making technique, instead of using the traditional record sheet to measure the shoe size, the new generation of shoemakers will use 3D scanning technology to measure the customer's foot and make a more suitable shoe last for the customer. They will also use 3D technology to make the shoe insole, using simulated leather material as the upper layer, and plastic 3D printing technology for the bottom layer.
The handmade accessories are personal and emotional, conveying the dedication and joy of the artisans. According to Shum Pui-yuk, flower ribbons have been woven in the New Territories for a long time. Hakka women use flower ribbons to decorate their hats and aprons, as well as to illustrate the Ding lanterns during the lantern lighting and to express their awareness of village affairs and their hopes for a better life.
Performing arts with intangible culture is also featured in the melody. Stanley Siu introduced Nanyin as a form of rap, in which the "Dishui Nanyin" is mainly performed by blind people, accompanied by musical instruments such as Guzheng, Yehu and clapboard. In the early 20th century, Cantonese Nanyin became a part of Hong Kong's popular culture. In addition to street singing, teahouses and pubs were filled with gentle and poignant singing sounds.
At the end of the 20th century, with the impact of Western culture and the change in public entertainment, Nanyin gradually entered its twilight. The singers faded from the mainstream music scene, "Fortunately, in recent years, blind people are performing Nanyin in the streets, and the new generation is silently guarding this Cantonese rap tradition and writing a new chapter for the development of traditional Nanyin," said Stanley Siu.
He emphasized that ICH is invisible, but it can unite the community and be passed down through oral tradition and practical application in a sustainable manner. "Traditional crafts meet the needs of daily life while performing arts enrich the colours of life by turning the virtual into the real, tangibly presenting supernatural beliefs, rituals and aesthetic concepts." Visitors to the exhibition will experience the past, future and aspirations of various arts and crafts. By displaying these non-traditional items, they will see how the transmission of skills between masters and apprentices has given rise to infinite vitality and creativity.