The root is growing up and everlasting
written by: Zinnia Su-Jao Hsu
Translated by: Shun-Ying Lu

-- Afterwords about the leather art seminars in 1998 --

  Speaking of our coworkers who are striving for the leather art in Taiwan, we have to go back to the autumn in 1997. At that time I invited the American leather artist Mr. Robb Barr to lecture a workshop here (he had to reschedule especially for us). For this very rare opportunity, I organized a dinner party in Asia Pacific Hotel for him to meet the local leather artists. The party atmosphere was too wonderful to say farewell and then we moved to my studio for some further technique exchange. Later on Mr. Chan Liu-Miao and Mr. Yeh Fa-Yuan even hosted more meetings in Lai Lai Shangrila Hotel. Through several gatherings, we have concluded that the main obstacle to the leather art development in Taiwan is due to a long-term dependence on the United States and Japan, theatrically and technically, confined to the language barrier and culture differences. Also the information is seriously insufficient because of the conservatism. As a matter of fact, it can only rely on the thinking people to work it out together.

  On the 12th of August in 1998, a new journey has started for the leather art in Taiwan and a common consensus has been reached since then. Under the lead of The Handcrafts Development Association in Republic of China, we shall hold together all the local artists’ might for a better communication and growth, through lectures and seminars to share and study mutually.

The first series of three seminars was held in The Taiwan Handcrafts Research Center Taipei Showroom in the last season of 1998, shown as follows:

Seminar 1: October 31st
Topic: Understanding Leather
Lecturer: Chan Liu-Miao
Contents: about the history, types, structure, nature and tanning technique of leather

Seminar 2: November 21st
Topic: A Path Towards Creation
Lecturer: Chan Liu-Miao
Contents:about the recognition in creativity, development and concept of leather art

Seminar 3: December 19th
Topic: International Information
Lecturer: Hsu Su-Jao
Contents:about the introductions of well-known leather organizations, artists, artwork and exhibitions in Europe, the United States and Australia

Meanwhile we divided our organization into groups as follows:
organizers and lecturers: Chan Liu-Miao, Hsu Su-Jao
graphic and emcee: Wu Ching-Ping
general administration: Twan An-Kuo
communication: Yeh Fa-Yuan
treasurer: Chen Hui-Mei
sound recording: Yeh Ming-Fu
photograph: Chang Ying-Chun
archives: Tung Ling-Lan

  Owing to our shortage of budget, Mr. Chan Liu-Miao took the lead in donating 10,000 NT dollars and I also followed him. We expect that a most reverberation can be aroused with our restricted manpower and resources. Two seminars had been held before this edition due. Special thanks to the perceptual foreword addressed by the council president Mr. Yu Chun-Ming, and to the manager Mr. Cheng Ten-Li as well, because they had to cancel other plans for us. Also many thanks to Ms. Luo Hsiang-Chen and the warm helping hands of other colleagues from the association, whom pushed the whole happening towards satisfaction. What impressed our staff the most was the amount of more than 70 participants, excluding the staff. They enthusiastically involved in meeting, taking notes and asking questions. This phenomenon tells us that our fertile land for leather art deserves more intent peasants to cultivate it. There would not be such a progress nowadays without Mr. Chan Liu-Miao’s willing to share his long-term and precious material collection, his speaking fascination, and all the contribution from our staff. Promotion is an endless pumping road. We as starting racers look forward to seeing more enthusiasts to continue it. It can only be succeeded with our heart to heart and hand in hand to hold together a field for the leather art in Taiwan.