2016 World Wood Day Summarized Report
- The 2016 World Wood Day (21st March) explored the theme “Nature & Culture” and launched new innovative programs. The 4th grand event was jointly organized by the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Government of Nepal, International Wood Culture Society (IWCS), together with the secretariat of the organizing committee, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and was greatly supported by the local steering and supportive members, along with international organizations. The host country, Nepal, renowned for its geographic and cultural diversity, warmly welcomed 500 participants from 100 countries and regions all over the world. More than 40,000 citizens and tourists were excited about the activities and visited the event venue, Nepal Academy, located in the heart of Kathmandu.
One of the best highlights was the Opening Ceremony on the morning of 21st March. It has been an absolute honor to have the Right Honourable President of Nepal, Bidhya Devi Bhandari, for lighting the panas, her inspiring speech and attendance in the memorable tree planting. The Honorable Minister Agni Prasad Sapkota of the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, the co-organizer from 2015 World Wood Day in Turkey, the Mayor of Odunpazarı Belediyesi, Eskişehir, Mr. Kazım Kurt, Dr. Andrew Wong of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), Dr. Howard Rosen, World Wood Day Foundation Chair, and Dr. Mon-Lin Kuo, Vice-President of IWCS all joined the worldwide participants to show their support and encouragement and enjoyed the theme-focused multicultural performance presented by professional musicians and dancers from 12 countries.Read more!
For the collaborative project, 14 international and 5 Nepali talents undertook an ambitious commission at the Vidyarthi Niketan School that resulted in 4 works. An installation of approximately 250 wooden bricks was designed to symbolize support for Nepal from the international community, while a brick work was dedicated to the school as a token of friendship. Two playground equipment were built to create a safe wood environment for fun, exercise and play. First was an interactive sculpture of triangle frames that included engravings of students' palm prints as memory tokens. The other was a wooden frame equipped with a woven net, bamboo bells and climbing steps. The collaborative project celebrated communal interactions and the unity of local and international communities.Read more!
As an integral part of the World Wood Day event, the symposium program examined a broad spectrum of wood-related research with the theme "Nature and Culture: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Peaceful Coexistence and Sustainable Development." Speakers seized this opportunity to present and share their research findings and ideas through keynote addresses, talks and discussions. 24 international and 19 Nepali experts in multiple disciplines exchanged on six sub-categories ranging from cultural heritage, sustainable development, to art, design and architecture. Topics examined during the three-day event shed new light on current issues facing Nepal and the world and to enhance multidisciplinary discussions for a sustainable future.Read more!
Wood Pavilion was led by renowned sculptor David Best with the Temple Crew and local artists built the stupa in Bungamati, a well-known traditional woodcarving village that has had more than 70% of its buildings damaged in the earthquakes. The stupa is composed of thousands of pieces of wood representing earthquake victims. The sculpture was fashioned into the shape of a classic Nepali stupa, along with an accompanying altar which individuals may inscribe small wooden blocks in remembrance of loved ones. The stupa is currently displayed at the Nepal Academy and will eventually be moved back to Bungamati.Read more!
Duplicating the Kileshwor Shiva Temple structure frame in a 1:1 scale model is one of the featured projects this year. After the Nepal Earthquake on 25 April 2015, damage to the Kileshwor Shiva Temple in the oldest temple complex located in Changu Narayan revealed a wooden structure underneath the exterior brick. The ingenuity of traditional ancient wooden techniques is made evident by the standing wooden structure. The team constructed the structure frame from local reclaimed Sal wood.Read more!
If the beauty of design is to have conversations among differences and seek out possibilities, the 2016 WWD Wood Design program achieved a great deal in its first appearance in WWD in Nepal. The invited artists conveyed the spirit of Nepali nature and culture through the beautiful singularity of wood and created two grand elephant masks and three organic installations that embodied the importance of sustainability by using mostly reclaimed wood for those installations. Wood Design is a platform where wood artists from different countries, generations and religions are able to communicate.Read more!
The 2016 World Wood Day International Woodcarving Show featured 112 participants from 73 countries around the world. From raw wood material selection to the woodcarving show, woodcarvers showcased their skills and talents through their art during the week-long event. The audience had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the magnificent world of woodcraft and witness the creative process of how woodcarvers transform rough raw material into enchanting art pieces.Read more!
The woodturning demonstration was a crowd pleaser. Mr. Andrew Chen, a U.S. member of American Association of Woodturners (AAW), brought a homemade wood lathe with a bike-powered generator and Moroccan turner Hassan Farisi used a homemade foot-powered lathe. Art pieces made by the international and Nepali woodturners truly showed the identity and lifestyle with delicate bowls, candle-stand, spinning tops, flutes, mini prayer wheel and fine pagoda models.Read more!
Animated atmosphere permeated throughout the International Young Adult Furniture Making Invitational as 20 international invitees demonstrated their passion and enthusiasm towards woodworking. Participants were each responsible for an individual project and were also divided into four teams for a collaborative project. The invitational was a platform that provided an unique opportunity for young woodworkers to learn and exchange skills from each other as well as make new friends.Read more!
The Folk Art Fair featured 13 international groups with 9 local Nepali groups. Their woodworks served as a medium for audiences to learn about diverse forms of folk art throughout the world. Tharu, Raute, Darai, Newar, Darchula and Chepang ethnic groups of Nepal were invited to showcase their cultural housewares and creation process that illustrated the importance of wood in their daily life as well as native wisdom of wooden technology.Read more!
“Environmental education is important for the younger generation. They have to acquire the right idea about using wood," said Professor Yang Ping, the instructor of Wood Education Program. Yang encouraged participating children to think about different questions, such as if trees could be cut down or not. Children learned about the advantages of wood and to understand why wood is good through touching, smelling, listening and playing with wooden toys. These young students were also learned about environmental science with DIY activities. The educational yet fun-paced program drew a close with a drawing contest themed “I Love Trees” to express what they could do to benefit nature.Read more!
2016 World Wood Day has invited 48 international musicians from 11 countries, working together with Nepali musicians to create the assorted program, including instruments display, short talks, outdoor performances, song collaborations and a concert from 22-25 March, followed by initiatives at special education schools and a senior home in Kathmandu on 26 March. It offered a great opportunity for the participants and audience to enjoy the beauty of music from wooden instruments and to learn more about the cultural background of each performance.Read more!
Designed particularly according to repeated requests from previous participants to have more time to exchange ideas and establish friendships with one another, four special gatherings were scheduled for one hour each where project leaders can explain their work and share experiences. It was a great opportunity to learn about other wood culture programs and connect with each other.
Following the exciting ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Grande Exhibition that presented the marvelous outcomes of every project, the Closing Ceremony was on the afternoon of 25 March with brief yet touching presentations by the 11 project leaders. The wooden music concert invited all participants and public to a special night out which served as a great conclusion to this international, intercultural and inspirational week.Read more!
World Wood Day is also an important occasion to convey the message of environmental conservation to the general public. To fulfill this purpose, a Tree Planting activity is held every year. This year, Bidhya Devi Bhandari, President of Nepal, planted a memorial tree outside the Nepal Academy to conclude the WWD opening ceremony on 21 March. On 26 March, honorable guests and 300 participants jointly planted 182 saplings of 23 wood species at the National Botanical Gardens, Godawari, Lalitpur. After rituals performed by Nepali and Latin American musicians, participants were excited to photograph with the trees and dance together. Such a scene is an ideal interpretation of the theme “Nature and Culture”.Read more!
As with previous WWD events of reaching out to the community to interact with those who cannot attend in person, the 2016 WWD folk artists, musicians and dancers visited the Central Higher Secondary School for the Deaf and Khagendra New Life Special Education School for children with disabilities, as well as the Hope Hermitage Nepal, a senior care center for Alzheimer's in Kathmandu, in order to share their cultural crafts and dance. Both artisans and the children enjoyed their time interacting and engaging with each other as seen with their laughter and cheers. The initiative aims to share wood culture through music, dance and folk art. Music and dance performed by Mexican, Peruvian and Egyptian groups received applause from the crowd. Automata displayed by Japanese artists fascinated them as well. They were also interested in the scroll saw woodworks and its process as presented by Egyptian and US artists. The day was brightened by experiencing what wood culture had to offer while the artists were rewarded with the smiles on the seniors' faces expressing their enjoyment.Read more!