The Hearts & Hands exhibition is a celebration of the skills and creativity of Hong Kong’s artisans and a reminder of the importance of craftsmanship in preserving the city’s culture and heritage. Crafts on Peel, which is showing the works at the Royal Society of Sculptors on Brompton Road, hopes that it will inspire visitors to revive, reinterpret and perpetuate traditional crafts in their own lives.
Meet the Craft Masters of Hong Kong
7th May 2023
Meet the craft masters of Hong Kong at Crafts on Peel Foundation's Heart & Hands exhibition, part of London Craft Week 2023. Discover the ancient heritage of Hong Kong through 12 works made of everything from bamboo to neon, all created in collaboration with master craftspeople and contemporary artisans.
Hearts & Hands at London Craft Week 2023: A Blessing
Master Lui Ming is a 93-year-old craftsman, who taught himself the skill of bamboo steaming as a young man, and is the founder of the Ming Sang Steel Bamboo Receptacle in Hong Kong. He created the first hybrid steel-bamboo steamer in the 1970s, and this handcrafted homeware has become one of the most popular types of steamer in the world.
Today, Lui Ming devotes his time to perpetuating and preserving his craftsmanship, selflessly passing on a craft he has honed for more than half a century to the next generation. One of them, his apprentice, Ingko Lam, who graduated from the department of Fine Arts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2014, will be on hand at Craft Week hosting a workshop to share skills including splitting, bending to weaving bamboo, essential steps in making bamboo steamers.
Her workshop is available here, visit the work of Master Lui Ming and Ingko Lam between May-8-14th at The Royal Society of Sculptors.
Hearts & Hands at London Craft Week: Bon Voyage
Master Liu Wing Sheung began his copper casting career in 1962. Now aged 80, he is now one of the last remaining casting masters in Hong Kong. Besides copper, he also casts other materials such as stainless steel, iron, silver and glass.
Master Liu continues to work hard at his craft, exploring techniques and looking for improvements while embracing lessons from failed works. His motto? “Be friends with failures.”
His work showing at London Craft Week is Bon Voyage, a set of mixed-medium sculptures inspired by traditional junk boats using glass, wood, brass and lacquer created in partnership with his apprentice Fansom Lam, a talented sculptor, and young craftsman Jacky Lam who specialises in lacquer work.
Visit the work of Master Liu Wing Sheung, Fansom Lam and Jacky Lam between May-8-14th at The Royal Society of Sculptors.
Hearts & Hands at London Craft Week: Chamber of Time
Siu Ping Keung, a master of wood carving in Hong Kong for fifty years, has a deep understanding of religious statues and a rich heritage in Hong Kong wood carving history. He apprenticed his father, Siu Yue Cheong, from the age of eight while continuing his studies and later inherited his father’s business.
Master Siu used to carve household deities for local fisherfolks, and longfeng (dragon and phoenix) pillars and carvings for many Chinese restaurants. Integrating the two carving styles of Guangdong and Ningbo and combining the best of both, Master Siu now carves josses for Taoist and Buddhist temples.
This work, Chamber of Time, was created in partnership with young woodworker Ken Chow, who has devoted his working life to the craft and founded Yat Muk Studio to practice, research and teach woodworking. “Yat Muk” means “a lifetime” and “woodwork” in Chinese. For Chow woodworking is a form of meditation and exploration of the mind.
Visit the work of Master Siu Ping Keung and Ken Chow between May-8-14th at The Royal Society of Sculptors.
Hearts & Hands at London Craft Week: Craft-ligraphy
Fung Siu Wah, known as Wah Gor, was born in 1948. From a young age, he was exposed to his father’s passion for calligraphy. Starting with the main schools of Chinese calligraphy from the Ming and Qing dynasty, he advanced his style with calligraphy from the Yuan, Song, Tang and Jin dynasties.
Craft-ligraphy contains sixty Chinese characters with the radical, "jin" (meaning gold or metal), written by calligrapher Wah Gor on rice papers. Coppersmiths Nathan Wong and Hazel Lee then reinterpreted each brushstroke on brass by hand with fret saws, creating one-of-a-kind textures that machine-operated laser cuttings could not replace and replicate, embodying the passions for handcrafted metalwork of the three craftsmen.
After conceptualizing Nathan and Hazel's creative framework, Wah Gor created sixty Chinese characters with "gold" as the radical with his sleek and graceful brushstrokes. The calligraphy was then digitized, printed and pasted on a 1.2 millimeter thick copper plate before carving. Each character has different brushstrokes and complexity, taking an average of five hours to complete.
Visit the show, from May 8- 14th at Royal Society of Sculptors, 108 Old Brompton Road, Dora House, London SW7 3RA, entry is free.