International Wood Culture Hall at the 17th China Putian Straits Arts and Crafts Fair

The 2023 International Wood Culture Exhibition took place from September 28 to October 2, 2023, concurrently with the 17th China (Putian) Straits Arts and Crafts Fair. The International Wood Culture Society was invited to host this exhibition, featuring meticulously crafted distinctive carvings from artisans in nearly 50 countries and traditional handicrafts from Nepal, showcased at the Putian Arts and Crafts City.

The exhibition showcased items in five major categories. The 16 exhibits in the "International Wood Carving Art Exhibition" were works from the wood carving project held during the "World Wood Day" celebration in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in 2018. The rattan work "Pangolin" was a design piece from the 2018 "World Wood Day." The "Wishing Tree" was created in response to the 2021 "World Wood Day" activities, designed and produced by students from Yueqing Vocational School under the guidance of their teachers. The exhibition also featured representatives of China's traditional four major wood carving inheritors, presenting works from Dongyang Wood Carving, Boxwood Wood Carving, Longan Wood Carving, and Chaozhou Wood Carving. During the exhibition, coinciding with the Mid-Autumn Festival, the organizers held a small special exhibition of wooden cake molds. The exhibited items, originating from Hebei, Shanxi, and Shandong, were handcarved works by inheritors of intangible cultural heritage, expressing blessings and auspicious meanings.

In the interactive experience area of the exhibition, Ratna, the President of the Nepal Woodcarving Association, brought traditional Nepalese handicrafts such as wooden lattice windows and wooden masks. He also gave on-site demonstrations of traditional Nepalese wood carving for the audience. Dharma, the former president of the Nepal Handicraft Association and an artist specializing in Thangka painting and sculpture, showcased many exquisite Thangka artworks and demonstrated the art of Thangka painting on-site, highlighting Nepal's unique cultural heritage. A handmade experience area was also set up, allowing visitors to craft items such as chopsticks and spoons, providing them with a hands-on experience of the joy of craftsmanship.

Wood carving is a universal language, and the 2023 International Wood Culture Exhibition allowed the audience to appreciate both the global features of wood carving techniques and the integration of diverse cultures. It also provided an opportunity to admire traditional Chinese carving art. The organizers hope to promote the idea of "wood is good" and collectively move towards a greener and more environmentally friendly future.