On 25 April 2015, with a magnitude 7.8 Earthquake hit Nepal and major aftershock on 12 may 2015, Nepal was in disaster. The earthquake caused a massive damage to people and heritage sites including Changu Narayan area where the oldest temple in Nepal is located. This video showcases the spirit behind the renovation of the Changu Narayan, and full size replica of the Shiva temple on the 2016 World Wood Day event.
The XIV World Forestry Congress, themed “Forests and People: Investing in a Sustainable Future,” was grandly held in Durban, South Africa from 7 to 11 September 2015. Gathering the world forestry’s sectors every six years, it serves as an important platform for experts and stakeholders to discuss related key issues and explore ways to sustainability. International Wood Culture Society (IWCS) and World Wood Day Foundation (WWDF) also took part in the exhibition and discussions to promote wood culture, a way to remind people that forest is our roots. The diversity of culture and diversity of ecological system are interconnected. We all grow and bind together and therefore, efforts by individuals and groups, big or small, are significant in building our sustainable future.
Renowned sculptor David Best, who has designed and built nine Burning Man temples at Black Rock Desert and various temples in other countries, and his crew, made of volunteers from the United States of America, were invited to create a community stupa in honor of the people of Nepal who suffered greatly from the 2015 earthquakes. The construction site located in Bungamati, a well-known traditional woodcarving village that has had more than 70% of its buildings damaged in the earthquakes. The Temple Crew cut and drilled rough-hewn logs and planks into manageable blocks that were strung on iron rebar and fashioned into the shape of a classic Nepali stupa. This stupa is composed of thousands of pieces of wood representing earthquake victims. Along with bringing international attention to the ongoing wood carving tradition of Bungamati, this project also helped to rejuvenate the community by interacting with local people and artists. The stupa is currently displayed at the Nepal Academy and will eventually be moved back to Bungamati.
The 2016 Collaborative Project kept exploring the possibilities among traditionally-different practices through teamwork as 20 collaborators came together to create wooden sculptural works in Bhaktapur. Together with interactive playground equipment that created a safe wood environment for school children, an installation consisting of 282 carved bricks by 130 artists rose to bring hope of renewal to the community. It was an inclusive venture between creative minds and the community where skills were shared, artistic thinking was challenged, and authentic partnerships were forged through a process of collective ownership, fellowship and mutual respect. This cross-border platform encourages communal interactions while offering younger generation new experiences to discover the art in wood that is both educational and entertaining.
Nepal is a multiethnic country, including more than 59 indigenous groups which constitutes 40% of its total population. Many of the communities fully depend on forest and timber products for survival, entertainment and religious purposes. Wood is an indispensable part of their live, though its importance is diminishing due to the influx of cheap alternatives. Meanwhile, attempts are made by individuals and groups to preserve and promote their tradition of using wood.
IWCS team visited 3 of the major ethnic groups, namely Newar, Tharu and Chepang, in Kathmandu, Dang and Chitwan to explore their distinguished and diversified wood culture and introduced some of them to the global audiences in the 2016 World Wood Day celebration at Nepal Academy.
Burning Man is a weeklong festival, a mega art event with many levels of presentation to provide a platform to artists to build a variety of wooden installations and structures in a metropolis in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. This documentary film is specifically aiming on an aspect that would inspire the caring relationship between man and nature, and as well as emphasizing on the meaningfulness of men’s encounters with wood.
In this 5 miles sq. of flat alkaline playa, wood does not only serve as the main material for art pieces, but also represents as a carrier that absorbs people’s emotions, cultures, and hopes.
The festival reached to its climax when the fifty-foot-tall giant wooden man falls, at that very moment wood has been burnt to ashes and blown away with wind along with people’s message spreading out to those who may or may not have experienced with wood or woodworking that a green and brighter future is ours to choose.
San Miniato al Monte is a basilica located in Florence, Italy. The basilica is situated atop one of the highest points in the city, and characterized and constructed in the classic Tuscan Romanesque architectural style. The wooden roof truss is painted with bountiful colors and decorated with adornments, and there’s an uncommon walkway built within the roof truss for people to decorate the roof truss. In addition, the wooden music stand for the choir was exquisitely made in approximately 1420.
Abyaneh is a small mountain village, located 55km to the north of Kashan. Its unique geographical traits have enabled the locals' culture, customs, clothing and language to be better preserved. The his and hers door knockers on the wooden doors can also be found in the village. Men and women use different knockers, which make different sounds, in order to remind the house owner which gender should be answering this visit.
The event was aimed to help those Syrian children staying in refugee camps in Lebanon to receive much-needed education. A wooden classroom was built in seven days at the Tall Abbas Al Gharbi Refugee Camp, situated at the border of Lebanon and Syria, as part of the World Wood Day regional event. Volunteers gave classes on the importance of wood and assisted the children in making classroom equipment, such as desks, chairs, a board, baskets, etc. A tree planting activity was also arranged to spread the message of sustainable development. All the volunteers who participated in the project were deeply moved and touched by what the classroom could do and mean to the children.
More information on World Wood Day.