Golden Days: The Gold Sculpture of Liu Kun Hui

Posted by on Nov 11, 2014 in blog, Photography, Taiwan | 2 Comments
  • SumoMe

I had the great fortune to be able to photograph Liu Kun Hui (劉坤輝), an artisan that has achieved Taiwan’s National Treasure grade status (國寶級).

Gold Craftsman Liu Kun Hui

Gold Craftsman Liu Kun Hui

Liu Kun Hui is 85 years old and began his apprenticeship when he was 15.I met the talented artisan in his Tainan house to produce some photos of his gold crafts, tools as well as a very quick portrait.

Gold Craftsman Liu Kun Hui's golden teapot

Gold Craftsman Liu Kun Hui’s golden teapot

He said the gold teapot pictured here took him a year to make. Then he clarified, “Not like a 9-5 job though – I would start work early in the morning and work deep into the night every day.” An artisan in the true sense of the word.

Gold Craftsman Liu Kun Hui

Gold Craftsman Liu Kun Hui works at home

Many of his tools are self made so he can make exactly what he wants. The lathe pictured above has been modified to work his gold.

Gold Craftsman Liu Kun Hui's exhibition

Gold Craftsman Liu Kun Hui’s exhibit

The exhibit is called ‘Golden Days: The Gold Sculpture of Liu Kun Hui’ (鎏金歲月─劉坤輝金工展)

Gold Craftsman Liu Kun Hui's exhibition

Gold Craftsman Liu Kun Hui’s exhibition

The exhibit runs until December 21st 2014 at the Tsung Yeh Arts and Cultural Center in Madou.

Gold Craftsman Liu Kun Hui's golden teapot

Gold Craftsman Liu Kun Hui’s golden teapot

While in his home, I was offered tea from one of the golden cups pictured above. It was supposed to taste better but I was skeptical. However, as a guest, I prepared to proclaim how good the tea tasted compared to the tea in a porcelain cup as I took a sip. I was really surprised that the tea actually did taste better out of the gold cup.

Gold Craftsman Liu Kun Hui

Gold Craftsman Liu Kun Hui

 

Liu Kun Hui is from an era where apprentices began to learn their crafts from a master at a very young age and when they have learned all they can, spend the remainder of their lives perfecting it. A few would have the innate talent and creativity to innovate and elevate their craft to art.

Artisan Liu Kun Hui

Gold Craftsman Liu Kun Hui

Sadly, there is no one to carry on his work today.

Gold Tools

Gold Craftsman Liu Kun Hui’s Tools

In addition to his works of art, Liu has designed and produced unique tools so that he could better create his art.

Liu Kun Hui

Gold Craftsman Liu Kun Hui

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