Sanxia, formerly named Sa-kak-eng, is a town that has developed and prospered through river transport trading ever since the ancient times. After the Taoyuan Great Ditch was completed in 1924, Sanxia declined as the water volume of Dahan River decreased dramatically. However, Taiwanese traditional skills hidden within lanes and alleys, as well as a variety of artists and shokunins, were gathered to form the unique scent and appearance of Sanxia, but they had fallen and scattered about as time passed. Homecoming youths gathered energy, connected local artists and shokunins, and promoted reconstruction projects on local cultural aesthetics for enabling schoolchildren to establish a foundation in homeland culture, as well as for the local people to get to know local cultures in a more intimate manner, to further enhance the aesthetics of life culture in the community in the hope that the once extraordinary town can become a new form of cultural and creative colony.
The Shokunin School Project
As industries change rapidly nowadays, people tend to neglect the traditional crafts that belong to their hometown and are rich in cultural values. The project anticipates that, by connecting “life” through “education”, schoolchildren could discover that there are still many valuable traditional craft cultures hidden within the community where they live, as well as that each shokunin is a teacher worth learning from and the entire community is the children’s classroom. Through innovative and lively courses given in a real-life interactive manner that is friendlier, the project enables schoolchildren to understand deeply the craft cultures of their hometown, as well as learn the attitude towards life, shokunin spirit and craft beauty from shokunins. The foundation for the concepts of culture and aesthetics are established from childhood so that craft cultures may be passed down through aesthetic education for the children to discover the local aesthetics in life, further integrating them in life to practice the aesthetics of local life.
Little reporters search for old shokunins
Through the design of courses, elementary and junior high school students are gathered to go out of schools and enter the alleys. Led by editors of CAN Magazine, the local schoolchildren search for shokunins hidden within the alleys to interview them, to record and write their touching stories. The students personally record images and write articles, which have become the best materials for learning local cultures. By using the articles written personally by the schoolchildren, more beautiful local stories are promoted through the Internet.
“Concerto of Shokunins” Campus Touring Exhibition
By using the stories and images of the traditional craft shokunins found and recorded, touring exhibitions are held in elementary and junior high schools in the cultural and creative colony in Sanxia for the cultures to come in contact with local people in a more intimate way. In addition, shokunin relay touring performances are held. Local craftsmen are invited to go to schools and turn them into work sites for the shokunins so that, in a friendlier real-life interactive manner, local schoolchildren can get to know more about the culture of craft aesthetics of their hometown and learn the ethos of “isshokenmei (guarding something that matters with one’s own life)” from the shokunins.
Little Shokunin Cultivation Project
In addition to aggressive promotion, the local cultures need even more to establish roots and to play the roles of integration and planning for coordinating the connection of local shokunins of traditional industries. Basic and advanced craft courses are designed for shokunins to teach their skills. Local children and people are encouraged to participate in the learning to feel the beauty of local crafts through experiencing, as well as enable the cultures to be established and continued.
In-depth experience of shokunin culture
Travelling is the best way to get to know deeply the cultural characteristics of a colony. Traditional craft shokunins in the colony are connected and in-depth local culture experiencing activities are planned for the people to get to know the local craft cultures and learn the aesthetics of life in a relaxing, interactive and in-depth learning manner. By using the revenues we earn, we support local artistic workers, allowing traditional crafts to be preserved and passed on.
Marketing package of shokunins’ image videos
There is a group of people in Sanxia who only focus on doing one thing well throughout their entire life. Craft is a matter of course that requires no excessive worshiping in the daily life of shokunins, but they are never negligent as they take craft to an infinite peak by upholding the ethos of “isshokenmei”. Unfortunately, shokunins are not good with words, so they are unable to tell consumers the stories and cultural value of the industry. In turn, this has formed a gap has between the shokunins and consumers in this ever-changing trend. It is hoped that, through the recording of image videos and the scripts of the stories, emotions can be integrated into the daily lives of shokunins and the videos can become one of the tools for communicating with modern consumers for them to see the ancient living wisdom carried on and the fine craftsmanship possessed by shokunins. Moreover, consumers will see how the top experts from various fields, though hidden amongst our daily lives, are devoted to their work just so that we can feel with our heart the warmth and passion of every hand ever placed on an item.