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Updated: 2021-05-10 08:27 ( China Daily )
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Sun Yong discusses Wood Joints, an app which demonstrates the mortise-and-tenon structures that are frequently applied in traditional wooden furniture and architecture, at Apple's Sanlitun retail outlet in Beijing on April 18.[Photo provided to China Daily]

A slew of innovative mobile apps are helping young people tap into Chinese traditions in a thoroughly modern way, Fang Aiqing reports.

App developer Sun Yong believes the younger generations will still have the interest in traditional culture and history, but the key is to find the proper medium for them to enjoy it in an age where not many people have the time, or the patience, to read books.

Among his most successful productions is an app called Wood Joints that demonstrates 31 typical mortise-and-tenon techniques frequently applied in the manufacture of traditional wooden furniture.

China has a long history of woodworking without the use of nails, from making delicate wooden furniture to entire buildings.

The assembly of such complicated conjunctions results in a simple, smooth surface, which embodies ancient Chinese aesthetics and philosophies.

In the app, users are able to examine different structures using mortise-and-tenon joints and, with a series of clicks, take them apart to see how separate pieces of wood are bound together. They are also able to learn about the features of different kinds of wood, tools and techniques.

Sun's interest in carpentry dates back to his childhood. Born in the 1970s, there weren't many toys available when he was young, but the family used to make desks, chairs and wardrobes themselves. The woodwork appealed to him and, by watching and imitating the adults, Sun developed strong hands-on skills that he still feels confident about today.

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