For the past 25 years, Yeh Fa-yuan has been breathing new life into leather. He does this by creating realistic sculptures of human figures, animals and plants. The Taiwanese craftsman has brought 30 of his leather sculptures to Hong Kong for an exhibition that opens today at Tseung Kwan O's Park Central mall and runs until October 9. 'I find leather a fascinating material because, unlike wood or bronze, it once had life,' Yeh said at a preview on Tuesday. In the 1980s, Yeh decided to reinterpret traditional two-dimensional leather art and started creating three-dimensional forms. The self-taught craftsman has won numerous accolades, including Taiwan's prestigious Ethnic Crafts Award. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in Japan, the US and the Netherlands. Yeh said the key to his success was persistence. 'For the first three years doing this, I didn't sell a single piece. It was a discouraging period. Nobody thought it would work out,' he said. 'How grateful I am today that I didn't give up then.'