CyberFair Project ID: 8750

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Taiwanese Zen: The Carver's Tale
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms

School: ChangSing Junior High School
    Changhua City, N/A, Taiwan

10 students, ages 13-15 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 4, 2024. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2012, 2013, 2017, 2019, 2022

Classes and Teachers: Yu-Fang Liang, Wei-Jyun Chang, Ya-Jan Chuang

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site: http://

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our community is located in Changhua City, Changhua County, Taiwan, which is close to Lukang, one of the earliest settled areas in Taiwan. Therefore, there are many temples here, and traditional craftsmanship flourishes. In the early days, there were many skilled artisans specializing in carving Buddha statues in this area, and their craftsmanship was widely renowned.

Statue sprucing is the traditional craftsmanship of carving statues of gods. Statue carving methods include wood carving, clay sculpture, stone carving, and other techniques. Statue sprucing mainly combines wood carving and lacquer art, and even includes religious rituals, hardware accessory installation, etc. The process of statue sprucing is extremely complicated and meticulous, and it requires very high technical skills from a craftsman. If a craftsman does not have great enthusiasm and extraordinary perseverance, it will be difficult for him/her to persevere to the end.

Changhua and Lukang was once one of the important towns for statue sprucing. However, with the changes of the times, the traditional craftsmanship has gradually declined. In the sluggish market of statue sprucing, Master A-fa has created a new path for traditional craftsmanship through superb craftsmanship and exquisite carving techniques.

We hope that through CyberFair project, more people can come to understand this precious craft that is on the verge of disappearing, and contribute our efforts to preserving this valuable human craftmanship.

2. Summary of Our Project

The belief in gods and Buddhas is the daily life of the Taiwanese. There are various temples worshiping gods and Buddhas scattering throughout the streets and alleys. For the statues of gods and Buddhas worshiped in both temples and at home, these exquisitely carved statues not only serve as people’s religious beliefs and spiritual sustenance, but also reflect the miraculous traditional craftsmanship of “statue sprucing.”

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home: more than 50% B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom: more than 6 C. Connection speed used in the classroom: dedicated connection D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet: more than 6 E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional): Campus computer network part: Changhua County Government announced plans to build a campus academic network environment in 2019. At present, the parts that our school has built are: 1. Update the campus cross-building fiber optic backbone network 2. Classrooms with more than two outlets (information outlets are required) 3. Wireless Internet access coverage in the teaching area 4. Information security integration planning 5. Marginal operations.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Traditionally, the statue sprucing production process is quite secretive and rigorous, and most of the techniques are passed down from father to son or from master to apprentice. In the statue sprucing process, there are established specifications required to be followed at each stage. Sometimes craftsmen must also perform religious rituals or perform purification and fasting to show respect for gods and Buddhas.

Our team members are all encountering this traditional craft for the first time, and we must challenge many restrictions handed down by our ancestors, including gender and zodiac constraints. Following Master A-fa's guidance, we delve into the mysterious world of statue sprucing art. Furthermore, this craft involves many specialized terms. In preparation for interviews, we did a lot of research, hoping to provide a comprehensive and relatable introduction to the miraculous and impressive aspects of statue sprucing for people around the world to understand.

Throughout the process, learning to shoot videos, produce films, create online games, design webpages, and so forth, has been a tremendous challenge for us. Fortunately, our teachers have been very patient, and there are also many detailed tutorials available online, which have enabled us to overcome various difficulties step by step.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

The exquisite traditional craftsmanship deserves to be cherished, valued, and promoted, as it embodies the essence of culture and perpetuates social values. Through the process of tracing our roots, we gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the significance of our existence, thereby building hope for the future.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

There is a statue sprucing Master in Changhua named Master A-fa. Master A-fa’s full name is “Shin-fa Lin.” He has been engaged in statue sprucing for more than 40 years and is good at god statue carving and restoration. The Buddhist tools shop he runs is located in front of “Nanyao Temple” near our school. Many national and county-designated monument temples enshrine statues of gods made or restored by him. In recent years, government authorities, such as the Ministry of Culture and the Cultural Affairs Bureau have paid increasing attention to the inheritance of traditional crafts. These authorities issued Master A-fa Changhua County intangible assets “statue sprucing” and “statue restoration (wood carving, clay sculpture)” double certificates as a preserver. The Ministry of Culture also registered Master A-fa’s statue restoration craftsmanship on the National Cultural Heritage Network. Master A-fa’s reputation spread far and wide, and even craftsmen from foreign temples came to seek assistance from him.

With the assistance from the township chief, we had an exclusive interview with Master A-fa. The amiable Master A-fa greeted us warmly. When he talked about his beloved statue sprucing craft, he was even more excited and happy. He was eager to pass on such precious traditional craftsmanship to more people.

Our special project on statue sprucing Master A-fa also attracted the attention from Public Television Service, of which the host came to Changhua to discuss the details of interviewing Master A-fa with us. The host, Miss Ally, visited Master A-fa with us, and the video will be broadcast to audiences across Taiwan soon for more people to understand this exquisite, beautiful, and sacred traditional craft!

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

Through our webpage introduction, we hope to educate more people about statue sprucing, to showcase the beauty of this traditional craft, to acknowledge its value, and ultimately to promote its inheritance and preservation.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

After completing our project, we also created posters and toured to different classes to introduce and explain it. We collected surveys for statistical analysis and found that many classmates supported and looked forward to the school offering courses on statue sprucing experience in the future. This was the best feedback for us!

Although standing on stage to share the project report with others made us nervous for a long time, we also found that with each presentation, we gained more experience in public speaking. After several sessions, we could comfortably speak on stage. The sense of accomplishment after overcoming the fear of public speaking is something that only those who have experienced it can understand!

In addition, Public Television Service noticed our efforts and came to Changhua for an interview, giving us the opportunity to introduce statue sprucing craftsmanship and Master A-fa to a wider audience through television. We hope that through the CyberFair project, more people around the world can get to know this precious craftsmanship.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

The traditional craft of statue sprucing is both complex and mysterious. Statue sprucing artisans not only carve but also must possess knowledge in feng shui, astrology, and Taoism. While most households have statues of gods and temples are abundant with them, very few people have the opportunity to interact with or understand them.

Through our webpage introduction, we hope to educate more people about statue sprucing, to showcase the beauty of this traditional craft, to acknowledge its value, and ultimately to promote its inheritance and preservation.

After completing our webpage, besides providing a platform for classmates to observe each other's work, we will also link it to Master A-fa's website, allowing more members of the community to browse and helping more people to become acquainted with this important cultural treasure.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

We are very grateful to Master A-fa for being willing to collaborate with the school, providing various information, patiently explaining without reservation, allowing us to observe without holding back, and even guiding us to try making many simple statue sprucing works.

We also want to thank the principal, vice principal, and our parents for their support. They provided us with many resources and were willing to be our practice subjects.

Special thanks also go to the staff of Nanyao Temple. Although the temple is currently under renovation and not open to the public, they generously accommodated us for visiting and taking photos.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

These changes have opened up new possibilities for the craft of statue sprucing. Master A-fa is gradually designing the complex and challenging art of statue sprucing into art courses that are accessible to the public, aiding in its promotion.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Culture and Cultural Affairs Bureau have begun to pay attention to this traditional craft, providing numerous subsidies to encourage artisans to teach, thus ensuring that this technique will not be lost.

With efforts from various parties, we look forward to the craft of statue sprucing changing its declining fate and becoming increasingly prosperous.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 8750)

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