Orange Paradise
  VIWE: 5106      
  No.516 Hengshan Road

Liuli Gongfang
     Yang Hui-Shan was a successful film star and a consecutive Best Actress winner of the Golden Horse Award of Taiwan as well as the Asia Pacific Film Festival Award. But in 1987 she and Chang Yi, a Best Director winner of the Golden Horse Award and the Asia Pacific Film Festival Award, along with seven other associates, left the film industry and embarked on a new life and new undertaking. The medium: glass. With hopes of entering the world of glass art and creating artwork with a modern Chinese style, they founded Liuli Gongfang.
     From the start, the group lacked experience in glass making. They expected the total investment needed to establish themselves to be around NT$150,000 (US$40,000). However, after the first six months of operations their needs exceeded this figure one hundred fold. The idea that looked so good on paper was proving impossible to implement. With the global glass industry production model being vastly different from that of Taiwan's, they basically had no example to follow. In Chang Yi's efforts to study and understand the art of glass, he very quickly determined that glass-blowing skills were not at all suited to carrying out the creation of a Chinese style that was fundamental to Liuli Gongfang. What they needed was to develop skills in pate-de-verre production methods.
     The pate-de-verre production method used in glass making follows the same principles as the pate-de-verre methods used to make bronze during the Shang and Zhou periods of China. Liuli Gongfang found the capability to sculpt the exact desired image offered by the pate-de-verre method properly suited the preciseness of Chinese realism. They thus cast aside the glass-blowing methods common in Taiwan at the time, and put all of their efforts toward developing the pate-de-verre production method. In 1987 there existed a studio in France with a history of more than one hundred years of operation. At the time, it was the only studio in the world capable of mastering the ancient technique of pate-de-verre production, a process which originated in Egypt, and used in Art Nouveau. Liuli Gongfang's attitude was "if the French can do it, so can we."
     Over the next three and a half years, the original founders of Liuli Gongfang invested NT$75 million (US$2 million). During that time, they thought of nothing except how to implement their vision. Starting from scratch, Liuli Gongfang went through the initial hardships of inexperience as they continually researched and learned from their mistakes. They watched many of their pieces go up in flames or shatter, and their electric kiln brake down, but despite these blows they vowed to never give up. These and other setbacks made Liuli Gongfang incur a heavy load of debt. After Yang Hui-Shan's personal savings were exhausted, she mortgaged her own house for a loan, followed by her father's, her brother's, and her sister's homes. But she and Chang Yi only had one thought in mind: this one small part of Chinese history had to be preserved.

Shanghai Xuhui District Tourism Service Center