Artisan = craftsman; someone who can express his mind and heart in his creation made by his hands.
Reboot = start from the beginning after discarding established continuity.
Last week Channelnewasia premiered a new series, Artisans Reboot. The write-up for this series states that :-
Artisans Reboot is a series that challenges a new generation to learn from the few remaining artisans and to save them from extinction. Each episode features a novice taking on an artisanal trade with only a week’s time given to learn the craft and then to be able to give it a new lease of life at the end of the apprenticeship. With artisanal crafts ranging from ink stick making to drum tuning, these novices are in on one of the greatest challenges of their lives.
The first episode was on the making of Mee Sua which is a type of thin Chinese noodles made from wheat flour in the town of Setiawan by artisans whose ancestors came from Foochow. The featured artisan master’s wife stated that they do not teach their art outside the family to avoid creating competitors but they were willing to teach the lady apprentice, Jenny Tan who is a food writer. Apparently, this is the last remaining artisan in Setiawan.
On the first day she went at 4 am only to discover that the artisans (two brothers) were already up and about since 2 am to make the noodles. She learned the steps and discovered it was not easy at all. At the end of the learning she had to make the noodles all by herself and found herself still struggling in some of the more intricate aspects of Mee Sua making.
For me what I did not expect to see was that Mee Sua making reminded me of a number of biomechanics that were typical of Fujian White Crane. Actually, I should say Foochow White Crane because the noodle masters’ ancestors were from Foochow and I heard that Foochow White Crane is a softer version of the Southern White Crane style.
So what did I learn from this one single episode?
P.S. – I tried to find this episode using Google but no one has uploaded it. Pity. Its such a great episode and words cannot describe what I saw of the process of braiding the noodles. You really have to see it to have a decent idea of the impression it made on me.
P.S. 2 – I only watched the episode once so I may have missed a few things. If you are interested to watch it Channelnewsasia will probably do a repeat broadcast of this episode in this coming week or as with the case of Kung Fu Kitchen they may also do a repeat showing sometime in the future.