When Sanchuan Hall was renovated, besides inviting architects to conduct a complete design, Renovation Committee particularly hired famous master of wood carving Huang Gui-Li to undertake the construction. Moreover, to expand the scope of Guandu Temple, besides moving the original structure forward for 7 meters before reconstruction, the structure of the temple is based to specific construction in Taiwan ‘Wu Xuan Qi’. The space underneath the external pillars in the hall becomes larger. Therefore, more wood sculpture is required to enrich the extra space. Because the renovation at that time was still based on traditional structure of major carpentry, in comparison with other halls renovated in RC structure later, this traditional structure is a more precious cultural asset.
‘Yuan guang’, one of the important characteristics of traditional carpentry, usually alludes to historical stories, folklores, allusions of dieties and Buddha, popular novels in China. The carpenters would convert these tales into storyboards based on these fables before they create carvings according to the scenes. The works of ‘yuan guang’ are distributed to areas in front of and inside the hall. ‘Wu lao guan tai ji (Five old men looking at Tai Chi)’ is located in the center of the area in front of the hall. You can see ‘xi que ying cun (magpies welcoming the spring)’, ‘san wang tu (picture of three kings)’ and ‘feng chuan mu dan (phoenix passing through peonies)’, toward the direction of the dragon screen whereas you can see ‘xi shang mei shao (overwhelming joy)’, ‘shi shang da ji (great fortune in the world)’ and ‘yi lu lian ke (passing Imperial Examination all the way)’. Besides, at the passage before the dragon columns of the hall are ‘Zhang Yi-De Making a Fuss at Chang Ban Hill’ in the dragon screen and ‘Lu Wen-Long Making a Fuss at Zu Xian Town’ in the tiger screen. At the dragon pillars in the hall are ‘Huang Zhong and Wei Yan Fighting for Credits’ at the dragon screen and ‘Engagement through Swordsmanship’ at the tiger screen. Most of these works of ‘yuan guang’ are created by Huang Gui-Li.
Other components such as ‘que ti’, ‘shu tsai’, ‘flower basket’, ‘hanging barrel’, ‘shi zuo’, etc. present various characteristics. There are a lot of brilliant works of ‘que ti’, ornamented between beams and pillars, with various topics and splendid carving techniques. Some of them are centered at figures, such as ‘Yao Hiring Shun’ and ‘Yang Xiang Fighting against a Tiger’ whereas some illustrate images of good fortune with flowers and birds, such as ‘Celebrated by the Whole World’.
The short pillars underneath or the ‘shu tsai’ over the arches in ceilings and caissons are mostly presented with high relief or semi-freestanding. The most special one is the ceiling caisson in the hall. The figures of the Eight Immortals are familiar with show up on the components of the pillars in the spiral baqua, surrounding the caisson.