At a time of globalisation and urban development, especially in a city like Hong Kong which is at the forefront of new technologies, it seems vital to promote traditional craftsmanship. Although deeply rooted in Hong Kong communities, craftsmanship needs to be revisited and integrated in our modern times and lives.
This is the hope of Crafts on Peel, a non-profit organisation which project is to revive, reinterpret and perpetuate traditional craftsmanship by fostering collaborations between traditional craftsmen and contemporary artisans through apprenticeship and techniques’ exchange, with the aim to nurture younger generations to incorporate traditional skills into innovative contemporary designs.
The essence of craftsmanship lies in the hands. At the core of the concept of Crafts on Peel is the stories of craftsmen. Composed of a pair of “hands” (手) in two Chinese characters, the fundamental tool for a craftsman, their logo is a perfect reflection of their commitment to preserve Chinese cultural heritage. The two hands also symbolise the relationship between the craft master and his apprentice, as the skill is passed on from one generation to the next.
Crafts On Peel Logo
Set in a historical building built in 1948 on Peel Street, Central, the space is the embodiment of Crafts on Peel’s intent to connect history and future. The restoration took eighteen months to Founder Yama Chan and Creative Director Penelope Luk. Their objective was to preserve and revitalise, to combine new and old, by using modernised materials to contrast with the existing exposed brick walls and staircases.
Crafts On Peel Space
The result is a dynamic multi-purpose creative venue for exhibitions, workshops, Artisan-in-Residence programs and an experiential retail and resource platform to document and “celebrate our collective identity and memories”, as explained by Creative Director Penelope Luk.
Penelope Luk, Creative Director of Crafts on Peel
Whether they focus on bamboo framing, birdcage making, copper or silver ware, papier-mâché or porcelain, Crafts On Peel’ s exhibitions are all curated by emphasising collaboration between traditional craftsmen and contemporary artisans across Asia and across generations. “We believe the best way to preserve and improve our craftsmanship is to facilitate exchange of skills, techniques and ideas”, says Penelope Luk.
Detailing their unique concept, Penelope Luk mentions: “We act as ‘matchmakers’ between traditional craftsmen and contemporary artisans. We create opportunities for them to have meaningful dialogues and encourage them to explore the possibilities of working together, including exchanging craft knowledge, making process, materials, and tools.”
Imagine the Impossibilities: Bamboo -Crafts On Peel
Raising awareness about ethical alternatives to mass-production and proposing innovative integration of craftsmanship into contemporary design, Crafts on Peel became a key defender and promoter of craft’s values and relationship with us.
On the occasion of their second anniversary, the foundation presents its third thematic exhibition Stories Encapsulated: Wood, opening to the public on 22 January, and featuring creations in wood by local and overseas traditional craftsmen and contemporary artisans.
Stories Encapsulated: Wood – Crafts on Peel
All Crafts On Peel exhibitions, activities and workshops can be found here: Crafts On Peel