Sculpture and caving are among the oldest Chinese arts and Prof. Li Mei-shu is following ancient traditions in his stone sculptures and wall carvings at a local temple in Sanhsia on the outskirts of Taipei City.
Li, 70, has been working on the task for 25 years and still has another five years to go. During an interview with a CHINA POST reporter recently, Li said great patience is required in this work, because the skills rely mainly on simple and tools of olden times, and a lack of skilled workers makes progress very slow.
Since construction work started on the temple in 1947, funds have depended on donations from the public.
Although the construction work is not finished yet, it has won high praise and attracted large crowds of visitors every day.
To build a temple is a daunting task, as each of the stone carvings requires three to six months work. So far, the construction work has cost more than NT$20 million, and it may be the last temple to be built in this style on the island.