In the oriental world, bamboo is used to make various things that make people's life easier.
But the exhibition "Bamboo Traces", held by the Taipei branch of National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute (NTCRI), is showing how bamboo can become art masterworks.
"Energy Dome," made by French designer Laurent Martin Lo, is a bamboo tent suspended in the air with a beanbag on the floor under it. People enter the tent from below and find a comfortable position on the beanbag to recharge themselves.
The tent is made of thin bamboo blades tied to each other with a nylon thread. With the help of a breeze, "Energy Dome" gently revolves around an invisible axis.
Kuo Che-hsu, Director of NTCRI's Taipei Branch says: "You can see that this exhibition focuses on items related to daily life. We have bamboo-made torch lights, bamboo lights, bags, and chairs. These are all applications of bamboo in daily life."
Earlier in the past century, weaving bamboo into daily utensils was a knowledge mastered in most families and passed on to the next generation.
Although bamboo ceded its place to plastic in households, craftsmen still keep this tradition alive.
Bamboo weaving teacher Chiu Chin-tuan teaches the ancient knowledge to several classes of students at the NTCRI.
"Bamboo can be made into very beautiful utensils. These utensils can also be lifted to the level of art pieces, because bamboo's texture is warm. And the beauty once made into an art piece is irreplaceable," she says.
"50/50 bamboo+bamboo" is a stool made by Chiu Chin-tuan. It's made with thin bamboo sticks glued to each other and twisted under high temperature to obtain the desired shape.
"The twisting here is the most difficult. If you twist too much, it will break. So you have to be very careful when you twist it. And when it comes to putting pieces together, the hardest part is the warming of the bamboo," says the bamboo weaver.
Nowadays, bamboo is also involved in personal transport, with an environmental friendly ideology.
The B-Bike is designed by Wu Peite, a member of Bear Design & Associate in Taipei City. The frame and the front fork are made with laminated bamboo glued to each other.
The designer chose bamboo to build a bicycle because its production is more environmentally friendly than the conventional aluminium and carbon fibre.
"Taiwan calls itself the kingdom of bicycles. But I think that the (bicycle) industry is not helping in environmental protection matters. Bamboo is an environmental friendly material. So if I could combine this material with cycling, then I could concretize the ideas about environmental protection," says Wu Peite.
Besides transportation, bamboo is also used in lighting. The light "Pandora" is designed by Wu Peite too. It uses low temperature triangle LED lights that also serve as locks to keep the light's parts together.
Laurent Martin Lo's bamboo works are also featured at the exhibition. Through "Bass Key," the French artist expresses deep vibes of music and heavy rhythm.
With "Galactic Sister," the artist compares people's paths with infinite trajectories and orbits of planets in a galaxy.
"Beyond Porcelain" is designed by Xu Pin-rui. The art pieces combine broken porcelain vases that are completed with thin laminated bamboo.
Although the vases are broken, they find a new life when combined with the bamboo.
"Bamboo Traces, Contemporary International Bamboo Art & Craft Exhibition" runs until 16 July 2017.
- ASSOCIATED PRESS