Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wooden (This week's Photo Hunt theme)

There is an area of Hong Kong known as Diamond Hill whose existence I first got to know about via it being the setting for movies such as Soi Cheang's Diamond Hill and Fruit Chan's Hollywood, Hong Kong. After moving to the Big Lychee, I tend to only visit it on the way to someplace else -- as its main bus terminal (at the base of Plaza Hollywood) is the starting point for buses such as the 96R that takes people to Wong Shek Pier and the 91 that goes to the Clear Water Bay beach area. At the same time, I've directed more than one person asking about tourist attractions in Hong Kong (beyond obvious ones such as The Peak and the Big Buddha at Ngong Ping) to two Diamond Hill locales situated next to each other.

Although I've taken more photos of the shutterbug's delight that is Nan Lian Garden, the two photos in this week's Photo Hunt entry are actually of the neighboring Chi Lin Nunnery. More specifically, the two photos are of the Buddhist nunnery's mainly wooden main building complex constructed using ancient Tang Dynasty (618-907) architectural techniques that do away with the use of any iron nails.

On my most recent visit to Nan Lian Garden (in the early part of this year), there was an interesting exhibition in one of its own wooden buildings featuring models of other -- and usually far older -- buildings in other parts of China constructed using the same ingenious architectural techniques as the Chi Lin Nunnery's 16 timbered temple halls and related structures. It also provided explanations and visual glimpses into the bracketing and dowels techniques employed to hold these wooden structures -- some of them very large indeed in reality -- together in place of nails.

Interesting architectural techniques aside, I reckon that the Chi Lin Nunnery's wooden buildings also can be appreciated on a visual aesthetic level. Simply put, I believe that there is an observable beauty and elegance to them -- and the existence of taller, concrete structures in the vicinity only serve to emphasize, rather than detract from, this being so! :b


Carver said...

Very interesting post and beautiful shots. I always enjoy learning from your posts.

Thanks for visiting mine and to answer your question, I don't use my wooden furniture as much as I used to but still do some. A lot of times though I take a towel to put on them before I sit down because the animals leave lots of presents.

ancient one said...

Beautiful wooden buildings .. I agree with your last paragraph.. prettier than skyscrapers any day..

EastCoastLife said...

And I heard the beams are joined without using a single nail. True?

Trekcapri said...

Hi YTSL, I love the contrast between the nunnery's wooden main building and the tall sky scrapers in the background. I found the no iron nails technique very amazing.

Two great choices for this week's theme. Have a wonderful weekend.

Life Ramblings said...

great post. Amazing that the structure is mainly wood construction and looks beautifully built.

Mar said...

Beautiful wooden buildings, love the particular architecture. No iron nails??

Happy weekend.

Gattina said...

Very interesting, love the architecture of the houses.

YTSL said...

Hi Carver --

I'm glad you keep on visiting and getting something out of your visits. And thanks for replying to my query over on your blog and making me chuckle over the bit about the animals tending to leave you lots of "presents". :)

Hi ancient one --

Some skyscrapers can be beautiful but the generic ones are... generic indeed! ;)

Hi EastCoastLife --


Hi Trekcapri --

Something to mention about the buildings: Despite their contrasting styles, the wooden ones are not that much different in age from the surrounding skyscrapers -- believe it or not! ;b

Hi Life Ramblings --

Thanks and agree that the structures do look to have been beautifully built.

Hi Mar --

Not a single iron nail reportedly. Amazing, huh? :)

Hi Gattina --

Don't think they're strictly houses as I think they mainly house such as statues of Buddha. But agree that they are lovely. :)

Annie said...

Very nice photos and interesting info. Agree completely about their beauty and elegance. Happy weekend!

Sue said...

They are lovely buildings :)

Liz said...

The building are so beautiful.

My entries for Wooden are here and here.

Sandy said...

Great those buildings

Maya said...

I love the contrast you have caught in your photos. The Nunnery looks live a very peaceful place in the midst of a concrete urban jungle!

YTSL said...

Hi Annie --

Thanks and hope you have a good weekend too. :)

Hi Sue --

Yes, they are. :)

Hi Liz --

I agree. :)

Hi Sandy --

I think my photos actually don't do the buildings justice. Put another way: I might have to return to Chi Lin Nunnery again to try to take better photos of it! ;)

Hi Maya --

Yeah, the nunnery does seem tranquil in comparison to the other built up areas -- and sometimes even compared to Nan Lian Garden which attracted more visitors on the days I visited both those places.

Vicki said...

Love the building. Also love the contrast between it and the city in the background!
Here's My Photo

Willa @ PixelMinded said...

what an interesting wooden entry!

Thanks for visiting my Wooden Entry.

MyMaracas said...

Interesting information and beautiful wooden buildings. And yes - much more meaningful and earthy than concrete monsters.

Anonymous said...

Such beautiful craftmanship in those buildings. I wonder if anyone still has the skills to make them now? Shame how those artisans are a dying breed.

YTSL said...

Hi Vicki --

Well... the Chi Lin Nunnery's actually part of the city. To me, it helps make Hong Kong special. :)

Hi Willa --

Thanks, am glad you like it. :)

Hi MyMaracas --

I think we're agreed: those who made the decision got it right with regards to their architectural choice for the nunnery. :)

Hi JdeQ --

Actually, the Chi Lin Nunnery's wooden buildings were only completed in 1990 -- so ya, would say that it's definitely the case that there still are people with the skills to make such. :)

DJ said...

Wow, no nails. The exhibition of model wooden buildings must have been very interesting.

YTSL said...

Hi DJ --

The exhibition was very cool and definitely added to my appreciation of the Chi Lin Nunnery wooden buildings. :)