Johor Baru Furniture Association is planning to set up a gallery to document the industry’s history and development.
Its president Chiam Thard Shyann said the furniture industry had gone through a lot of changes over the years, from making furniture by hand in the olden days to today’s modern manufacturing methods.
“Most of the furniture we see today is produced by machines. In the past, these items were painstakingly made by the workers manually.
“As such, old furniture is quite valuable and we plan to collect these pieces and display them in a gallery for the younger generation to see.
“We are still in the early stages of planning and have yet to come up with the estimated cost for the project.
“However, we aim to complete the gallery within the two-year term of the current committee,” he said in an interview.
Besides furniture and related equipment, the gallery will include the story of Lu Ban, a craftsman from China who was also known as a master carpenter, as well as the association’s history spanning more than 40 years.
Chiam, who was installed this month as the association’s president, said its office in Taman Mount Austin had been chosen as the location for the gallery.
He said the newly sworn-in committee planned to collaborate with technical and vocational education and training institutions as well as independent schools to promote furniture-making to youths.
“Many youths are reluctant to work in the furniture industry, thinking that it is too labour-intensive.
“The association aims to play a better role to promote the industry and ensure that furniture-making techniques are passed down to the next generation.
“In fact, the furniture industry in Johor Baru has a lot of potential.
“Many local manufacturers produce furniture for Singaporean customers and that earns them a lucrative income.”