The Wood-Carving Masters

The Wood-Carving Masters


Every block of wood will release a very fragrant smell. That smell attracts me and makes me look forward to my next project. [Cheerful music playing] I am good in wood carving and he is good in Chinese calligraphy. So we decided to open Yong Gallery together. A signboard represents a name. If a signboard has no name nobody will know what the shop is selling or where to find them. In the olden days every house would have a signboard that represented the surname of the household. The reason for hand carving the signboards is because it looks more dimensional and it can be kept for a longer time. Different words have different sizes so we use different tools to carve them big and small (tools). We use the hammer to carve and express the spirit of the word. Firstly, we have to design the signboards and make some measurements. Then, we will select the type of wood we want. After carving, the customers will decide on the colours. Some people prefer gold some prefer gold words on a black board because it stands out more. Gold looks luxurious and represents good luck. Our most famous customer is Mr Lee Kuan Yew. He wanted to give something to the leader of Saudi Arabia. We didn’t know that Mr Lee intended for it to be a gift until we saw this photo in the newspaper then we realised that it was our art piece. [Cheerful music playing] For people who want to learn wood carving they have to learn Chinese calligraphy from Mr Yong before they can learn wood carving from me. They cannot use someone else’s words to carve. If they take other people’s work to carve they cannot carve out the spirit of the words. In order to be a wood carver you must first have the passion. Passion will motivate you to continue. The most important thing is to have passion.

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