Monday, April 20, 2009

Living Crafts

There is a tiny lane by the side of Carpenter Street in Kuching where I took these pictures today. Carpenter Street runs parallel to the Kuching Waterfront. Two subjects that drew my attention was a Chinese craftsman who seemed very adept in the art of making hardware items that has been mastered over generations. Along this narrow lane called 'Bishop's Gate' there is a small colony of these artisans who are still carrying out the age old tin smiting business. The early Chinese artisans who have honed their skills using tin have upgraded themselves through years of practise to newer materials like mild galvanised sheets and more recently thin stainless steel sheets. When I asked one of them ( pix above) how long he has been in the business, he told me in no uncertain terms " Fifty Years". Judging by his skillful hands ,deep concentration and precise execution I have no doubt that that he really talked the walk and walked the talk.
Further down the 'Bishop's Gate' lane a wall of paintings crowded the narrow five-foot way. Paintings by local artists were displayed for sale. By the look of it , the spirit of commerce is thriving well on Bishop's Gate lane. It's interesting to see how local artists have risen to the occasion too by demonstrating their talents in support of the growing tourism business around the Kuching Waterfront area.

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