Joined in 26th of September 2017
My story starts back in my teens when I was casually strolling through the streets of Penang. I stumbled upon a quaint store and peered inside to find someone in the midst of making traditional lanterns. I stopped long enough to watch the entire process and unexpectedly fell in love with it. I started involving myself more in the art, becoming the middle man between the lantern maker and those from temples who placed orders. The lantern maker never actually taught me to make lanterns from scratch—but he wasn’t stingy with the knowledge he had honed. Each time I stopped by his store to make an order, I would ask him a few questions. Like forming a jigsaw puzzle, the pieces began to come together until Tjoan had an idea on how it worked. Unfortunately, the master passed away but the orders still kept coming in. So I decided to take it upon myself to continue the master’s legacy by making them himself using the memories of what his master had told me.
Now, I produce customised lanterns for numerous local and overseas clients as well as Chinese temples. I am trying to preserve and revive the interest for this traditional trade and craftsmanship. My ultimate aim is to keep this art sustainable and, at the same time, increase its visibility through the workshop.