The January edition of The Red Bulletin has an article about men who build bamboo construction scaffolding in Hong Kong. The article talks about the “whys and how” of using bamboo scaffolding to build structures that reach over 250 meters or 820 feet into the sky. The spidermen who do this work are known as “Taap Pang,” Cantonese for bamboo scaffolder.
The advantages of bamboo scaffolding include the fact that they are light weight, recyclable, and found in most Asian climes. The poles are selected for their size and strength, and are held in place with long plastic ties. The spidermen are very skilled and in demand in Hong Kong and other major cities where scaffolding is needed.
There is a growing shortage of skilled spidermen. Even though there are around 4,000 active spidermen, only 50-60 candidates have entered the craft in the last year. The training is extensive and candidates are taught the art of the selection and erection of the poles to create the spider web for the construction crews.
The following short video shows some of these amazing “taap pang” at work.