Taiwanese artist Cheng-Tsung Feng uses his work as a means to explore the wisdom hidden in traditional crafts and techniques. Often reinventing ancient craftsmanship through design, he applies a diverse range of artisanal methods found in artifacts to create large-scale installations and sculptures. Its aim is to preserve the precious traditional culture, some of which risk being lost forever, through its rebirth in its art. Such aspirations inspired his Fish trap house series. The bamboo installations breathe new life into a traditional vessel, once used as a tool for catching fish, but now serving as a symbol carrying the culture lost in museums and literature.
Feng is the very first Fish trap house was inspired by a government commission for Sun Moon Lake, one of Taiwan’s most famous tourist attractions. âTheir open attitude didn’t impose a lot of limitations on me, so I was able to start my creation happily and freely,â Feng told My Modern Met. âAt that time, I started to tour the lake, looking for precious local, traditional, ancient and endangered crafts as a subject of creation. Finally, I found an ancient Thao tribe – one of the native tribes of Taiwan – and there was an elder, Mr. Masawsang Lhkashnawanan, who was the last to be able to make Thao fish traps.
Feng was captivated by the look and history of the fish traps, so he asked Lhkashnawanan to teach him how to make one. âDuring the production process, I discovered many interesting production techniques, so I started to think about the design of this fishing tool. If the technology is not used for fishing, what else can it be used for? I thought it was better to catch people rather than fish, so I did the first one Fish trap house near the lake.”
One of Feng’s latest installations, House V fish trap, stands on the sandy shores of Yuguang Island, not far from the lapping ocean waves. When it opened, people lined the beach, waiting for their chance to enter the bamboo lodge. Like a traditional fish trap, it has managed to attract its prey. But instead of fish, it attracted everyone’s attention as they swam amid the inviting landscape of the island.
The answer is exactly what the artist aspires to achieve when creating his fascinating installations. âI hope that ancient crafts that have been gradually forgotten by people all over the world will be shared in interesting ways through my works,â Feng explains, âlike telling people these fascinating old stories in a new way so that people can see that traditional craftsmanship is in fact full of new possibilities. It can be applied to things with completely different sizes, functions, shapes and locationsâ¦ People are generally surprised by the visual sensations and physical when they come into my works, and the stimulation of the physical experience is also the effect I look forward to bringing to people. “
Scroll down to see more images of Cheng-Tsung Feng House V fish trap. To learn more about the artist, visit his website or follow him on Instagram.
Taiwanese artist Cheng-Tsung Feng House V fish trap stands on the shores of Yuguang Island in Taiwan.
The bamboo pavilion was made by the artist using traditional craftsmanship techniques of the Thao tribe.
Instead of capturing fish, Feng’s immersive installation captures people’s curiosity and draws them in.