Steely beauty of the sheet-met
The booming sound of pounding and beating on sheet metal has followed Lin Bo-zhan (林柏占) for half a century. If you’re Taiwanese, then you’re sure to have seen his work, because the calligraphic style of writing seen sprayed on Taipower’s electrical transformer boxes throughout the country have all been crafted by his skillful hands. 70-year-old Lin Bo-zhan is a 3rd-generation craftsman who entered the industry at just eighteen years of age, carrying on a tradition handed down through his family from the period of Japanese rule in Taiwan.
After fifty years in the business, no complexity of font, language, or pattern, can stump Lin Bai-zhan. In Taiwan, the skill of letter cutting on sheet metal dates back to the Japanese era, when the commercial boom in Dadaocheng brought huge business opportunities. However, through the years, this steely art has gradually waned, and today, Lin Bai-zhan gets by on the odd piece of work here and there. Despite the fact that this craft seems destined to vanish into obscurity, Lin Bai-zhan insists he’ll keep working until his nimble fingers are no longer able.
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