Now you can have your own customized ukulele. Incorporating computer output devices in their craftsmanship, hand-crafted ukulele makers Chen Kuo-ming and his son Chen Ching-fen develop and build personalized instruments by outputting computer files of customers’ kids or loved ones and printing them on the instrument, turning their instruments into creative works of art.
Chen Kuo-ming, 61, has been crafting hand-made guitars for more than three decades in Yunlin County’s Shuilin Township. Despite being diagnosed with oral cancer 17 years ago, Chen has persisted in his handicraft. Hoping to promote the art of the guitar in remote areas, Chen often sponsors school-based guitar groups by donating musical instruments, earning him the epithet the “guitar bonesetter.”
Chen is passionate about making hand-made guitars, including traditional, retro, creative, mini and other models. He can also customize guitars for use with steel or nylon strings for classical or jazz guitars, and his studio has now become a renowned spot in the community.
To pass on the art to the next generation, Chen has gradually been passing the baton on to his son Chen Ching-fen. In order to give his father’s factory an even more localized style, the son incorporates painting and computer-generated images to create personalized instruments, and this transformation has been well-received.
(Liberty Times, translated by Lin Ya-ti)