2014 World Wood Day - Woodcarving Collaboration in Kunming


 International and local artists pull together to extend the 2014 WWD celebration in Kunming of Yunnan Province, China.


Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province, enjoys a pleasant climate that lives up to its title of the City of “Eternal Spring”. With a history of more than 2,400 years, today it has become the political, economical and cultural center of Yunnan.

One of the post- 2014 WWD events was held at Southwest Forestry University in Kunming City of Yunnan Province from March 27 to March 28, 2014. Nine artists from around the world and three Chinese artists were invited to collaborate on a woodcarving project with the theme “Forest”.


Southwest Forestry University is the only institute of specialized education in forestry in the Western Regions of China.


The purpose of this project is two-fold. First, to enhance the appreciation of world wood culture in the academic field. Second, to promote the WWD concept “Wood is Good” through cross-cultural exchange in woodcarving. 


The international artists receive a cordial welcome at the opening ceremony of the Carving collaborative project organized by IWCS.


During the two-day event, twelve artists from nine countries worked individually to submit various contributions of themed artwork so it can be assembled as one large-scale installation. Each artist was able to interpret the theme, applying a definition of “Forest” from any point of view, through a piece of wooden board of Yunnan Liden, the local tree.


The event takes place in an open square on campus so that the audience can get up close and personal with the artists and their works.


Students are curious about the artists’ names and nationalities.


Conceptualizing and designing before carving.


Starting to bring the specialties into full play.


The woodcarving collaboration brings in a demonstration of crafts representing varied traditions and cultures. 




With the multi-cultural experience gained from the WWD celebration, works of many artists are evolving with new ideas and inspirations.


Observing the woodcarving show brought further discoveries. Many students asked questions concerning the craft, expressing their interests in it, and the participating artists did their best to answer them. The respect and appreciation towards the crafts from the participants were evident from their interactions throughout the process. 


Student tries to carve with artist’s guidance.



The students are earnest about woodcarving.


Woodcarving has its appeal to the students while artists keep the momentum going to create.


Every artist presented a piece of work at the end of the day on March 28. They dedicated the large- scale artwork composed of multiple pieces to the College of Material Engineering of the university to mark the collaboration between the international and the local, the industrial and the academic groups. 


The artists present their finished works at the closing ceremony while everyone looks forward to the whole installation with eager anticipation.


Artists represent the “Forest” theme in their works in a path involving with either abstract or realistic illustrations from a diversity of aesthetic creativity.


While most artists need the quiet atmosphere to create, they still desire a sense of community at times. The collaboration brought everyone involved an enriching experience filled with stimulating exchanges of thoughts, skills and interests.


Finally fabricating the carving pieces, from raw material to a collaborative artwork.


Artists from home and abroad strike up a friendship during the collaboration.


What came through was a glamorous combination summed up complex notions of Forest that can be appreciated from many angles. It deepens our sense of what wood culture can do and what it can be. And the friendships between the participants are—much like the art they created—solid and true.


The finished work illustrates distinctive descriptions of Forest that make the art so unique.


Culture Tour in Jianshui

After the project, the artists took a tour of Swallow Cave Senic Region and the Jianshui Ancient Town, both of which are situated in the south of Kunming.

Known as one of "the biggest and most splendid cave in Asia", the Swallow Cave consists of a dry cave, a water cave and a natural forest with a total area of 100,000 square meters. Every year between spring and summer, thousands of swallows fly there to build nests and give birth to baby swallows. 


Artists travel through the cave with a boat ride and enjoy seeing the magnificent stalactite formations. 


Artists pose with the staffs in front of the Swallow Cave


The Jianshui Ancient Town is located in south of Kunming. The history of the town can be dated back to Nanzhao State (738-937). More than 15 ancient buildings have remained. Among the most culturally revered are the Zhu Family Garden, the so-called “Grand View Garden” of southern Yunnan Province, and the Confucius Temple.


The Jianshui Ancient Town is one of the most popular historical and cultural towns in China.


The Zhu Family Garden, a historical site of the Chinese residence of the Qing Dynasty, has timber residential construction matches up beautifully with its Chinese garden.


The Chinese musicians play wooden musical instruments in the Jianshui Confucius Temple.


Artists and the staffs pose at the Jianshui Confucius Temple that has a traditional Chinese construction style.


The culture tour in Yunnan concluded with a visit to the Confucius Temple that is a cultural mix of the Han and many other ethnic groups of South Yunnan. The beauty and profundity of Chinese culture have been discovered when the West met the East.