Please, no jokes about the name of this historic Hong Kong teahouse. I’m sure they could make a few cracks about how some English words come across in Cantonese, so why go there.
The LY Teahouse was a real eye-opener to me as far as Chinese joinery is concerned. It was about the time of this visit that I began to realize ancient Chinese joinery—of course, all by hand—far surpasses most contemporary handwork, Eastern or otherwise. The art may have been snuffed out completely in the Cultural Revolution, but more likely technological advances made handwork obsolete long before that. It’s a shame.
Having said all that, I cannot verify whether these pictures are handworked wood—I am thinking they are.
The chair pictured here is very heavy—must be some seriously dense wood. The joinery was done so well that not one of the chairs at our table showed evidence of stress. No steel fasteners that I could see. Hope to show many more photos of Chinese craft in months to come.
-- Jay in Changsha