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Taiwanese Canadian’s Light Chasing Warrior- Yen Jung-Tsung
[Father of all locks paints out a miracle]
[Father of all locks paints out a miracle]
No matter how long it takes, if only I could persist one more minute, I would get closer to the light.
From an arcade locksmith to international painter
Yen Jung-Tsung, the owner of Sutan of Crystal Dew is a Taiwanese Canadian who suffered from polio since childhood and always been bullied by other children. However, he learned to convert other people’s bullying and ridicule into propulsion to motivate him instead, creating a fearless and persistent courage to move on. When he graduated from junior high school, he had to quit school that he loved tearfully and threw himself in locksmith work to help out his family’s financial problem. He started working in the arcade to become the “Father of All Locks” and successfully fuel up the brand name of “House of Thousand Locks.” He kept improving his skills by combining engraving with paintings to form fine arts. His works are so stunning that they are comparable to the museum collections.
After immigrating to Canada, in order to thank his beloved wife, he built a castle of love named as “Sutan of Crystal Dew” mostly by himself for a span of five years. During the construction period, he suffered nine accounts of minor and major bone fractures due to mobility inconveniences and severe osteoporosis, but he completed it persistently. A few years back, he picked up his brush again and relied on a short five-year self-taught experience to paint, and received the highest recognition from SFCA (Senior Signature Member of Federation of Canadian Artists) in 2016, which is equivalent to a contemporary master-grade artist. In 2017, the world-renowned brand Rosemary Brush Company named its two new paintbrushes in his name. He became the first Taiwanese ever to win this honor, thereby writting an amazing record in the global oil painting industry. He deserves to be praised as “The Glory of Taiwan.”
Yen Jung-Tsung is currently living in Canada with his wife. Although he suffers from severe brain and muscular atrophy, he continues to explore the breadth of his life. He hopes to bring more brilliant works to the world. His attitude towards life has also encouraged friends encountered with difficulties and at a standstill: Nothing is impossible, the thing is whether you want to do it or not.
Yen Jung-Tsung has made breakthroughs from a locksmith in the arcade to fulfill his ideals in painting out a miracle. He also completed his “Castle of Love” - Sutan of Crystal Dew with his own hands brick by brick, and is now paying back to the community in every minute counts. He deserves to be praised as the “Light Chasing Warrior” and stood out among 2616 candidates of Loved Life Medal from all walks of life in the world and won the “21st Fervent Global Love of Lives Award” in 2018 from Chou, Ta-Kuan Foundation in Taiwan. The Foundation always welcomes recommendations for life warriors from all walks of life in the world who are hardworking, benevolent, courageous, and have made great accomplishments, etc. (Fervent Global Love of Lives Award recommendation hotline of Chou, Ta-Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation of Taiwan: 02-29178770, Fax: 02-29178768, Address: 3F, No. 52, Mingde Road, Xindian District, New Taipei City, Website: http://www.ta.org.tw, e-mail: email@example.com).
Stepping on the wheels of fate
Yen Jung-Tsung came from a poor family, and he has mobility difficulty and often bullied by his neighbors during childhood. The saddened thing when he was a child was to see his mother accusing other children on laughing at his lame walking way or mimicking his walking style. Every time he saw his parents bleeding in their hearts for this, he hated himself -“Why do I have to walk in a lame manner?”
In junior high school when the school was rather far away, he learned to ride a bike to school to overcome difficulties. However, on the uphill section, his weak left foot could hardly move forward and had to rely on his normal right foot to pedal hard in a repeated pedaling cycle, stepping half a round and quickly retracting backward to the original position to trust the bike forward. The constant progress of the cycle would cause the gears and chain to make banging noises.
A naughty child often deliberately mimicked his cycling method to make the banging noises.
Ah B: “Oh, why I’ve also become lame? Why doesn’t the bike move? Oh God! How can it be? Mother! Please come quickly, I’ve become lame! They’re starting to call me a lame guy!”
After mocking him, the naughty boys would suddenly speed up and laugh him from sideways. He always locked the humiliation in his heart and continued to ride his bike in banging noises. He told them in his heart: “Laugh as you wish! It’s slow though, but I won’t stop. One day you would realize that this turtle can also reach the finish line!”
He told himself: “No matter how powerful his feet are, what he steps on are only the bicycle pedals. My feet are weak though, but what I step on are the wheels of fate.”
The amazing father of all locks
He liked to study since he was a child and was also a model student of the best class in school. When he was at the 3rd year of the joint exam, he saw most students were taking tutoring. Although he was extremely envious but knew that his family’s financial status could not allow him to do so. So he would go to his father’s newly opened locksmith stall after school to help. To share the burden of his parents, he quitted school at the age of 15 tearfully and opened a roadside stall as a locksmith to help the family.
He felt terribly upset whenever he spotted students carrying the schoolbags: “Oh God! Why? It’s clearly understood that I’m helping my parents, but why my heart would feel sadder than death?” For all that, he still told himself by gritting his teeth: “As long as I value myself, as long as I work hard enough, I would definitely succeed!”
During the locksmithing period, he constantly researched all kinds of universal locking and unlocking mechanisms. He was the only key master in Taiwan to publish three professional locksmiths’ books.
He liked to challenge all kinds of locks in famous cars and famous lock brands. From the 1960s, the side door locks that claimed by the US GM cars proudly to be unpickable was cracked by him easily. He felt embarrass even been praised as the “Father of All Locks” in the industry.
He has cultivated many students everywhere, even the genius lock picking police officer Xie Wen-Yuan also learned from him on the application and universal lock picking techniques.
He is a perfectionist as he regarded 99 as a failing score in his dictionary. You must have experienced that the duplicated key was still hard to open or unable to open the lock. In those days when he handed the duplicated key to his guests, he would confidently say that: “If you find that the duplicated key can’t open your lock when you go back, return with a bottle of pesticide and let me drink!” (don’t ever try this, children)
Although locksmith is regarded as a roadside business in the eyes of ordinary people, but he encouraged his students that:“Locksmiths deserve the most respect.” Yes, the vast majority of people are not thieves. If they can pick locks, can they stay in their profession and not doing wrongful acts, and earnestly earn a small profit to serve the community. Isn’t such sentiment not worthy of respect?
Do other people’s work but learn your own skills
He always remembers what his father told him: “Do other people’s work but learn your own skills.” He treated each seal he engraved as an artwork. Even though the guests are satisfied, but he still insisted on doing until he was eventually satisfied.
To enhance the aesthetics of the carved work, he took part in the handicapped oil painting training course organized by the Taipei County Government at the age of 19, and there he met his wife – Sutan, and simultaneously improved the aesthetic and artistry look of his carved work. At that time, his fame had caused the attention of many temples around the country asking him to make the golden seals.
To promote Chinese art, he also participated in foreign art exhibitions with his seal-engraved works. Originally worried that the foreigners would not understand the seal carving art, but much to his surprise, the organizer was amazed and exhibited all of his works.
When he was young, he saw the ivory chain carving collection in National Palace Museum and believed that he could do that too. So he decided to challenge them. After spending countless sleepless nights, he finally carved out an ivory chain smaller in diameter than a rubber band (ivory was considered non-conservative category then). It consists of a total of 108 links, and each link of which is movable. He received lot of encouragement from people, saying that it is comparable to the treasures found in National Palace Museum.
He also attempted to engrave Li Shangyin’s 56-word non-inscribed poem on a 10mm-sized cow horn seal in traditional Chinese fonts. Although it is not as small as a miniature carving, but as compared with the miniature carving with shallow engraving, his seal with a 1mm-deep engraving is considered the smallest one that can actually be used as a seal after being moisten on an ink pad.
Regained his reading dream and moved to Canada
Years later, he retired to Canada to regain his young dream who loved reading. Without wasting time, he skipped the language courses and enrolled in a regular school relying on the English language he learned in junior high school, hoping he would proficient in listening, speaking, reading and writing English in the shortest possible time.
He skipped grade to complete the high school and business school courses in first place.
With only 36 credits short to gain an entrepreneurial master’s degree, he suddenly felt that he has achieved enough as all he wanted is a proficient in English, and degree is considered merely a cloud to him.
But before that, he must retake “Marketing Management” of international trade once again because he only got B+ in this course while other courses were in straight A’s. If he ignored it, he would feel like being stabbed by a knife on his back for the rest of his life.
In the end he revenged with an A+ for the course. What keeps puzzling people is that he did not apply for a new academic certificate from the school. To him, he does not concerned about the straight A’s certificate at all, but an academic certificate in his mind that always in pursuit of perfection.
Built the Castle of Love – “Sutan of Crystal Dew” on his own
For him, “there is no difficulty in the world.” In 2002, to thank his wife for disregarding all the concerns and disapproval from her family at the age of 17 but married to him, he spent five years building the Castle of Love at the suburbs of Vancouver mostly by himself brick by brick. He named it “Sutan of Crystal Dew” and presented it to his beloved wife.
Suffering from severe osteoporosis and often fell down due to mobility problems, he encountered nine minor and major bone fractures during the course of construction.
After the completion of Sutan of Crystal Dew, it has become a landmark for many people to take pictures. Over the past few years, there have been more than a dozen movie companies wanting to shoot at that place.
Regaining to paint
A few years ago, he began to paint oil painting through self-study, relying on basic painting skills he learned for three and a half months at the age of 19. His first painting was displayed in Gaillard annual art exhibition and was selected as the highlight of the show with high votes. The painting was used on the cover in all newspapers, posters and invitation cards.
He also successfully passed the audit to join the Canadian Artists Alliance and his paintings were selected eight times to display in national art exhibitions in one year. He also won the FCA national competition in Canada and was selected for the World Photo Contest for three consecutive years. He was even more miraculous to receive the highest honor in 2016 for a greenhorn who only learned to paint for only five years, winning him a master-level seat in SFCA, as well as qualifications for FCA national and international competitions.
The shining moment of life
His self-created light-chasing painting technique has attracted the attention of many people. Perhaps because he has only painted for five years and received a lot of international recognitions, he has often been interviewed by media in the United States and Canada. Even the Cantonese TV program in Hong Kong had made special trip to Sutan of Crystal Dew. In addition, he returned to Taiwan for being invited by Spencer Tsai of Public TV, and in March 2017, invited by the Dean of Taiwan National Exhibition Committee for Arts to serve as a judge for the Taiwan International Exhibition, making him feel much honored.
He is also honored to have a world-renowned British Rosemary Handmade Brush Company, which is better known as “Rolls Royce” in the painting industry to use his name “LOUIS YEN” on two sets of painting brushes. This is the only Taiwanese, and the only Chinese who has been named on two sets of brushes.
Every second counts in light chasing
He was advised by a writer’s friend that he should publish his own story into a book to motivate young students, but he made a blunt mention that his Chinese language ability only stays at junior high school. Nevertheless, he published his autobiography on March 1, 2017 and named the book as “Light Chasing Warrior.”
I was originally worried that no one would buy this book, which uses only superficial Chinese and non-aesthetic words. Unexpectedly, it was fully booked before the new book was released, which almost caused a dilemma of no books for me to show the audiences during the presentation.
When listed on the Blog for only one day, it ranked second in the top 100 best-selling books.
The first edition was launched on March 1, 2017 and it was reprinted on March 16th. The third edition was printed on March 30th. Many entrepreneurs donated this book to their own alma maters and students in rural areas. More people have read this book and bought it as a gift for their friends. This is really unexpected.
He is very grateful to Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Society for specially publishing an issue for him – “Your Honor Our Pride” on March 2017 in the monthly publication, and treating him the Glory of Taiwan living in Canada. Although Yen Jung-Tsung accepted it embarrassingly, but he feels really great in his heart.
Lighting up a candle
Since childhood, he has not known what the feeling of walking on a smooth road is. The so-called “rough and bumpy road” that the ordinary people experience is just like “a piece of cake” to him.
Throughout his life, he has continued to build dreams. All his skills were almost self-taught. He always reminds himself to play his role well, never gives up when faced with difficulties, and be stronger when encountered with setbacks.
Although he lost at the starting point, but with his perseverance to blaze a way through all manner of obstacles, the locksmith that operating in the arcade has turned to become a world-renowned painter. His success is absolutely full of hardships and not mere fortunate.
“My dear friends, life is not always satisfactory. If you’re also fighting in the face of adversity, I hope my story will help you. I was a child of impoverished and disabled. Well aware of the hardships and difficulties, I’m very happy to teach the disabled people and children who are talented in painting free of charge. Currently, the New Taipei City Government has already started planning a public painting class for me. Should my paintings be needed by any charitable organizations, I can always provide the duplicated paintings or cards for charity fundraising. You’re welcome to get in touch with me. In this age of distorted values, instead of complaining about the current social darkness, I choose to light up a candle instead!”