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【Visiting】Field trip to Yung Shing Furniture Co. Ltd

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On 17th November 2020, Professor Kim Choy Chung led the students of Corporate Decision Analysis and International Marketing Management on a tour visit to Yung Shing Furniture Company in Tainan. Yung Shing Furniture Company is a 60 years old company that specializes in the manufacturing of furniture using traditional joinery techniques. During the tour, students had a chance to learn about the characteristics of wood, how it is processed and observes master carpenters at work.

The tour began at the "Industrial Hall" of the Furniture Manufacturing Eco-Museum, which displayed the evolutionary styles of Taiwanese rosewood furniture. For example, students were able to see five different styles of furniture that appeared in Taiwan historical period: Ming Dynasty, Japanese colonization, American influence, contemporary designs that began with international trade and public furniture projects such as the furniture of Presidential Palace, National Taiwan University Library, and Taiwan Literature Museum.

The students then proceeded to the "Experience Hall" of the museum which documented more than 30 samples of wood species. These included a piece of 500 years old rosewood from Myanmar, red sandalwood, mahogany and several other raw materials for furniture production. Students were told that before a wood is ready for production, it has to be heat treated till the water ratio in wood reaches the standard suitable to the climate of Taiwan. Every student was welcomed to feel the texture and smell different samples of wood.

Finally, students were able to view the actual manufacturing process in traditional Chinese craftsmen techniques using modern technologies. Instead of traditionally pushing wood to the fixed wood saw, modern wood cutting machine moves wood saw to the stationary wood. Students were fascinated with the thought of Chinese traditional wood assembling process without nails and screws, which exemplified the beauty of the traditional handicraft tenor and mortise methods.

Overall, the field trip to Yung Shing Furniture Company enlightened students about the history of furniture manufacturing in Taiwan, and its development over the years. Yung Shing Furniture Company is a typical example of how an enterprise that relies on traditional wood-making technique can be transformed into a modern business via customized modern furniture designs and integrated traditional/modern wood-making techniques. “The experience of visiting Yung Shing Furniture Company helped me to get a better understanding of how a designer furniture business operates and also how this beautiful furniture is made” – says Charles, a 2nd year IBMBA student from the Republic of South Africa.

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