In order to promote Lu Ban’s contributions, preserve local traditional handicraft techniques, and enrich Macao’s cultural and touristic resources, the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC, from the Portuguese acronym) and the Macao Carpentry Trade Union have jointly conceived the Woodcraft Works of Master Lu Ban Exhibition Room. The opening ceremony took place on the occasion of the Feast of Lu Ban on 28 July, with the presence of several civil organizations and entities, and honourable guests. Present at the ceremony were the Deputy Director of the Department of Education and Culture of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao S.A.R, Zhang Xiaoguang; the acting President of IC, Leong Hio Ming; the President of the Executive Board of the Macau Federation of Trade Unions, Cheang Chong Sek; the President of the Macao Carpentry Trade Union, Choi Hong; and representatives of several civil associations of Macao.
In order to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Historic Centre of Macau as World Heritage, promote Lu Ban’s reflective and innovative spirit, display local traditional carpentry techniques, as well as revitalize and make use of important buildings of cultural value, the IC joined hands with the Macao Carpentry Trade Union to design the Woodcraft Works of Master Lu Ban Exhibition Room, located at No. 39 – 41, Rua de Camilo Pessanha, at the headquarters of the above mentioned Association, comprising an area of 172m2. The Macao Carpentry Trade Union is consecrated to Lu Ban, an extraordinary inventor and patron of the carpenters in China. His inventions embody the intellect and achievements of human civilization, making use of construction skills and establishing construction standards for later generations. The Association is one of the oldest professional associations in the city and, at the same time, a place of reverence to Lu Ban. As a result, its building symbolizes the close connection between professional organizations and folk beliefs.
Construction works at the exhibition hall were divided into two phases. The first phase included the restoration and preservation of the original building. Between 2013 and 2014, IC undertook the removal of water and salt from the walls on the first floor of Lu Ban Temple, the repair of the green bricks, the reinforcement of the structure and reopening of the skylight, as well as the conversion of the previous activity room of the Association into an exhibition room for traditional carpentry techniques, which, together with the Lu Ban Temple and the outdoor courtyard, make up the current Woodcraft Works of Master Lu Ban Exhibition Room. At a later stage, IC and the Macao Carpentry Trade Union worked together to arrange the display of images, texts and objects. Currently, in the Temple’s main hall, there is a large lock by Lu Ban. In the exhibition room, over 80 traditional wooden tools are on display, including saws, planes, drills and ink markers, among others; as well as information boards with Lu Ban’s story and inventions, videos showing methods of use of carpentry tools, components of buildings constructed according to the “mortise-and-tenon” structure, and also tools available for the public to handle. Through a series of exhibitions and multimedia facilities, it is not only possible to introduce our ancestors’ traditional techniques and wisdom, but also to raise the population’s awareness to carpentry techniques and the traditional industries. The cooperation between IC and the Macao Carpentry Trade Union, together with the support of carpentry professionals, has allowed for the successful completion of the Exhibition Room. Additionally, the Centre of Continuing Education and Special Projects of the Macao Polytechnic Institute provided historical materials and documents as well as narrative documentaries.
The Woodcraft Works of Master Lu Ban Exhibition Room is open to the public daily from 10am to 6pm, closing on Wednesdays and public holidays, starting from today. For more information, please contact IC through telephone no. 8399 6699, during office hours.