Culture TED Conferences

Quoted at TED2013: Dong Woo Jang on making bows in the concrete forest of Seoul

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Boy-and-his-bowYesterday, during the session “Create!,” 15-year-old Dong Woo Jang delighted us with his tale of bow-making. I caught up with him after to discuss.

Why did you choose bows?

I just stumbled upon it. When I was a boy, I wasn’t allowed to play computer games, so I just went around looking for something to do. I was 12 when I found a piece of wood and made a bow from it. When a child is given a bow, they know how to shoot it immediately, instinctively. No one has to teach them.

What’s the most challenging part of making a bow?

Gathering the materials. It’s very hard to find great trees.

So what makes a great tree?

Straight mulberry or hard yew. They’re not easy to find in Seoul. It’s just a great concrete forest.

Read a recap of Dong Woo Jang »