Legend (Tradicción . Sucesión) Dong-han Hong

The documentary portrays Hakka traditional skills and the selfless contributions of the craftsmen, and presents the various types of Hakka industries and cultures in Taiwan with the aim of increasing the public awareness of the importance of Hakka cultural assets, thereby passing on the Hakka culture and legacies.

This episode features Master Dong-han Hong, who was born at a Hakka village in Zhubei, Hsinchu. After graduating from elementary school, he headed north to learn printing. From the time he started his apprenticeship in Taipei until he had his own business, more than 60 years have passed. The printing industry had seen its heyday, and is now declining. Master Hong is 78 years old this year (2020), and he plans to retire in five years and move back to Hsinchu to spend his remaining years. He hopes to donate these machines of historical value to the Ministry of Culture or the museum as a collection because none of his three children intends to inherit his craftsmanship.

Traditional letterpress printing has been phased out with the advancement of the computer era. In this episode, the complete printing process is filmed entirely in this small printing shop, from typesetting by Master Lin, to operating the printing machine by Master Hong, thereby bringing back memories of the olden days.

Accompanied by the music, the episode took us through the golden years of a huge factory. The masters’ skilled operations were emphasized through the use of light, in an attempt to present the changing times. The only things left are the old printing machines and the types that have gradually worn out.

The question of heritage was raised once again during the interview. Through the masters’ casual yet resigned description, we can feel that with no young people willing to take over this declining industry, the only thing we can hope for is to preserve all the machines and tools that had witnessed its heyday, so that the new generations can reminisce about the invaluable page from the past which was responsible for the circulation of words. When the people have the chance to open an old book, they may once again inhale the aroma of the ink from the typesetting between the lines.

  • Feeling Wu
  • Feeling Wu
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Web / New Media
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 5 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 30, 2020
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  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
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  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director - Feeling Wu