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Hong Kong artisans among world’s elite crafters at London Craft Week

London Craft Week has put on its largest program ever this year, with more than 380 British and international artisan events taking place across the capital.

The 7th edition of the annual event, which closes for another year on Sunday, featured more than 450 craft makers and 240 program partners, with some 30 countries represented.

The event showcases the diverse world of craft, spanning art, design, interiors, luxury, food and drink, from heritage skills to creative collaborations and cutting-edge contemporary practices.

Hong Kong-based Crafts on Peel presented their exhibition of traditional and contemporary bamboo craft from the Chinese city.

Imagine the “Im’ possibilities: Bamboo, which is co-sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London, at 180 The Strand, featured more than 50 pieces of work, highlighting the diverse ways in which traditional bamboo craft has been revived and reinterpreted by traditional craftsmen and contemporary artisans, in Hong Kong and across Asia.

Yama Chan, founder of Crafts on Peel Foundation, said the organization’s goal is to preserve traditional crafts from Hong Kong and nurture the next generation of artisans to combine traditional crafts into contemporary designs.

“It’s important because this is our tradition and our culture, but also it makes it relevant to contemporary life,” Chan said. “It’s important to show the meeting of the old and the new, and having work shown in London is very special for our artisans, especially in this time during COVID, as they have not been able to travel for a long time.”

Highlights at the exhibition include Reborn Merman by traditional craftsman Cheung Foon and contemporary artisan Jinno Neko. The piece is a lion head and a fish tail in six sections, bringing together traditional bamboo crafting and papier-mache techniques by Cheung in the lion head with Jinno’s fish tail, which further incorporates contemporary elements of water marbling and hand painting.

Designer Gamzar’s work is a series of bambooware created through parametric design and traditional craftsmanship to create a bamboo structure that highlights the material’s flexibility and infinite potential to create a wide variety of shapes and forms.

Other works showcasing Hong Kong’s heritage include dim sum steamers, birdcages and a Hakka brimmed hat.

“We hope to share these unique creations and allow the public to gain a deeper understanding of the material’s roots and continuing relevance in Chinese culture and history,” Chan said.

Visitors can also view other international exhibits, including crafts from South Korea and Japan, and also see what local British talents have to offer.

Jonathan Burton, managing director of London Craft Week, said: “There is a lot of international content this year; we’re a very outward-looking festival, and we aim to both show the best of what we have in the UK but primarily to be able to show how craftsmanship is a universal story and something that brings us together.”

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