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National Cultural Treasure

  Mr. Tun-hou Wu has a preference for antique lanterns reflecting folk arts. He began to learn how to make lanterns at the age of 15 and has adhered to ancient methods and rules for more than 70 years. The lanterns with his colored drawings are characterized by freshness, vividness, exquisiteness and delicacy and have been acclaimed as “National Cultural Treasure” in folk arts. The world-famous works have been covered in different types of media and ordered by government leaders as the gifts for the counterparts and key officials of friendly nations and regions. In addition, for the purpose of praise and encouragement, Lee Teng-hui visited him and awarded a plaque with words (Preeminent Art), Chen Shui-bian visited him and awarded a plaque with words (Sublime Technical Skill), and Ma Ying-jeou visited him and affixed inscriptions on the lantern hanging at his shop, “Son of Manka, on a pilgrimage to Lukang, paid a visited National Treasure and the Light of Taiwan”. To honor his contributions, the government specially issued liberty lottery, craft stamps, first-day covers, postcards, postmarks, and monthly calendars bearing his photos.

  The works of Mr. Tun-hou Wu have been collected and treasured by global people from all walks of life. In addition, he won the first title of Taiwan Crafts Workshop in 2004. At his 80th birthday in 2005, to appreciate loyalty, promote the quintessence of Chinese culture, and improve public welfare, the chairman of Nationalist Party of China, Ma Ying-jeou conferred Highest National Cathay Award on him. In 2009, members of Intangible Cultural Heritage Review Committee under Changhua County Government reached a consensus on the decision that Traditional Arts- Arts and Crafts – Colored Lanterns would be registered as traditional art culture heritage of the county with the preserver as Tun-hou Wu. (The aforesaid materials about Mr. Tun-hou Wu are provided by Mr. Jung-luan Wu)

  With the development of social pattern and gradual diminishment of old artists, there might be fewer successors to traditional crafts in the future. Driven by the responsibility to pass down the traditional craftsmanship, for more than ten years, Tun-hou Wu has been hired by county-level and municipal social education centers, cultural centers, folk activity centers, etc. in Taiwan to teach teachers of senior high schools, junior high schools, and elementary schools how to make lanterns so as to make sure later generations can inherit intangible cultural heritage.

  For his exquisite and delicate works, Mr. Tun-hou Wu is acclaimed as “Lantern Painter” in the field of folk arts. The world-famous master has been covered in different types of media, including the interviews arranged by the press from America, Japan, and other countries. Additionally, attracted by his fame, antique artists from Japan, America, France, Netherlands, Germany, Korea, etc. have paid visits, and some antiquaries have even arranged special trips to purchase his lanterns, which is a common phenomenon.


October 24, 1982   Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a soviet writer and winner of Nobel Prize in Literature, paid a visit.

1988 Mr. Gao-wen Mao conferred Folk Art Heritage Award on Tun-hou Wu

1993  General Manager of Taipei Rapid Transit System paid a visit

March 24, 1998   Prime Minister of France, Doc. Messmer paid a visit.

2001 Painting Master Zhang on lanterns

2005 Taking a photo with foreign guests

2007 Mr. Tun-hou Wu and Chen Shui-bian

2008 Taking a photo with Ma Ying-jeou

February 10, 2009   The ambassador in Israel, Gan Ruofei paid a visit and placed an order for lanterns.

June 21, 2010   The scholar and signer, Ms. Yao Lo visited and interviewed Mr. Tun-hou Wu.

August 20, 2010   Chris Ke, Li-you Weng, and Mr. Wang visited Mr. Tun-hou Wu.

February 15, 2011   Foreign reporters visited and interviewed Mr. Tun-hou Wu.

March 16, 2011   The reporter of China Central Television, Ching Chao visited and interviewed Mr. Tun-hou Wu.

2011 Chairman of Democratic Progressive Party, Tsai Ing-wen paid a visit.

September 25, 2013    Chairman of Democratic Progressive Party, Tseng-chang Su, and the former premier of Executive Yuan paid a visit.

(The photo is used after the authorization of Mr. Wen-tsun Wang.)

1989The wife of Secretary General of Democratic Progressive Party, Pu-tsung King paid a visit.

May 30, 2008   The premier of Executive Yuan, Chao-shiuan Liu paid a visit.

April 24, 2010   Taking a photo with Deputy County Chief Jui-pin Chang

February 28, 2012   Vice President Wu Den-yih paid a visit.

  Adept at painting colored drawings on folk lanterns, Mr. Tun-hou Wu has, at the invitation of the government’s social education institutions, frequently made public demonstrations and prepared videos and pictures which have been spread both at home and abroad. As it were, Mr. Tun-hou Wu has spent his lifetime to inherit and carry forward traditional folk arts.

(Note: quoted from Folk Lanterns - Mr. Tun-hou, Winner of 1988 Folk Art Heritage Award, edited by Ministry of Education)


September 18, 2009   Winning the first Changhua County Award for Top 10 Souvenirs

2009 National Taiwan Craft Research Institute collected his traditional lanterns.

2009 Tourism Souvenir Medal bearing the photo of Mr. Tun-hou Wu

July 5, 2010   Participating in the press conference about Changhua County Souvenirs

On August 1, 2010   Artistic Riyuetan Pool Poster for Taiwan Crafts Workshop besides Riyuetan Pool

2011 Desk calendar of technological beauty

Participating Memorial Ceremony for Master Lu Ban

Designing the content for teachers in the 4th Social Science Textbook

1988 Mr. Gao-wen Mao conferred Folk Art Heritage Award on Tun-hou Wu.

1995 Introduced by the bimonthly magazine, Prosperous and Beautiful Changhua

August 1, 2010   Participating in Riyuetan Pool Artistic Activity at Lalu

November 1, 2015   Lanterns made by Mr. Tun-hou Wu

November 1, 2015   Lanterns made by Mr. Tun-hou Wu

November 1, 2015   Lanterns made by Mr. Tun-hou Wu

November 1, 2015   Lanterns made by Mr. Tun-hou Wu

Pictures Drawn by the Great Masters

(The data and pictures are provided by Mr. Jung-jen Wu. and Mr. Jung-luan Wu)

 

February 25, 1986 1122nd issue of liberty lottery

1986年2月25日愛國獎券第1122期
(Provided by Bank of Taiwan)

 

1993 Chunghwa Post issued “Chinese Traditional Craft Stamps” and issued stamps, first-day covers, original postcards, and commemorative postmarks bearing the photo of Mr. Tun-hou Wu and his works, “Drawing of Dragon King Lantern”.

1993年郵政總局發行中華傳統工藝郵票

January 16, 1993    Chunghwa Post issued the five Stamps of Chinese Traditional Craft and original postcards bearing the picture of Mr. Tun-hou Wu.
(The information and photos are provided by Mr. Jung-luan Wu.)

 

1993年郵政總局發行中華傳統工藝郵票
(The photos are from the stamp collections of the team members.)

Lantern Painter - Mr. Tun-hou Wu
Mr. Tun-hou Wu, 87 years old, a native of Lukang, Taiwan

  Losing hearing as a boy, Mr. Tun-hou began to learn how to make lanterns at the age of 15 and has adhered to ancient methods and rules for more than 70 years. The lanterns with his colored drawings are characterized by freshness and vividness. In addition, Mr. Tun-hou won Folk Art Heritage Award in 1988.

   Driven by gradual diminishment of old artists and fewer successors to traditional crafts, for more than ten years, the great master has been hired by county-level and municipal social education centers in Taiwan to teach students of different grades how to make lanterns in anticipation that later generations can inherit intangible cultural heritage.

   For his exquisite and delicate works, Mr. Tun-hou Wu, having spent his whole life on creation in silent world, is acclaimed as “Lantern Painter”.

  Being quiet, this old man is innocent inside to some extent. When he was fiddling with his beard on the spur of the moment, I spontaneously pressed the shutter and recorded such interesting scene.

燈籠畫家吳敦厚
The text is quoted from Page 124 of Taiwan Panorama (August 2005)
The photo is used after the authorization of the photographer (author), Mr. Kuo-chang Chi.