A delegation led by Mayor of Ipswich, Australia, Andrew Antoniolli visited Hsinchu County on March 24th. Accompanied by Hsinchu County Magistrate Chiu Ching-chun, the delegation watched a live wood carving show performed by the prestigious carving master Kang Mu-xiang at the assembly hall of New Tile House Hakka Cultural District. With the fragrance of camphor wood and the sculptor’s body language and artistry, the friendship between Hsinchu County and Ipswich City became closer and closer through the art feast.
As early as 1994, Former Magistrate Fan Chen-tsung established sister city relationship with Ipswich. In 2015, Magistrate Chiu Ching-chun went to Australia to sign the MOU. Ipswich, located in South East Queensland, was a major mining center, and also relied on agriculture and forestry. Its industrial development was similar to that of Hsinchu County’s Zhudong Township, which boomed due to forestry and mining. This similarity facilitated the partnership between both sides. This time, Mayor Antoniolli specially led a delegation to Hsinchu County, hoping that their cooperation could go on stably.
The carving master Kang Mu-xiang was born in Miaoli, Taiwan. He learned about traditional wood carving at the age of 13. Then, he keeps making breakthroughs and outdoing himself to enter the field of contemporary art. His works integrate both traditional and modern elements that show his pursuit of nature, and are exhibited all over the world. Magistrate Chiu gave high praise to Mr. Kang’s wood carving and cable artworks. Thus, he specially arranged this art show to share the splendid crafts of Taiwan with the Australian friends.
The cultural exchange between Hsinchu County and Ipswich City as well as the participation of Mr. Kang Mu-xiang originated from their connections of forestry and art. On the spot, Mr. Kang created an artwork with a piece of wood and combined traditional techniques with innovative ideas. His work showed the oriental belief — reincarnation and the circle of life. It also signified a closer partnership and broader exchanges in more fields between Hsinchu County and Ipswich City in the future.