Steely beauty of the sheet-metal carving master

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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.

 

以下為中文對照

伴隨著陣陣鏗鏘有力的金屬敲打聲音,擁有超過50載經驗的老師傅-林柏占,正專注地在鐵皮上敲打。他的作品大家一定看過 ,台電變電箱隨處可見的噴漆字體,都來自於這位鐵皮雕刻師的巧手。高齡70歲的林柏占,其實從18歲開始就開始接觸這個行業,家傳從日治時期就連傳下來的三代技藝。

從業五十多年來,不同的字體、不同的語言,以及不同的圖案都難不倒林柏占,鐵皮刻印這項技術,最早來自日治時期,當時大稻埕興起的貨物流通,帶來了龐大的商機。然而時代變遷,鐵皮刻印技術目前在台灣已快要絕跡,除了國內零星的需求外 幾乎失去了發展空間,即使眼睛越來越退化,林柏占師傅也堅持做到他不能做為止。

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Steely beauty of the sheet-metal carving master

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