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Current Exhibition

4th The Fourth Special Exhibition Hall-Imagery Taiwan:An Outsider’s Gaze at Taiwan’s Landscape and Products

Source:客家文化發展中心
Publication Date:2022/09/16
Last updated:2022/11/14
4th The Fourth Special Exhibition Hall-Imagery Taiwan:An Outsider’s Gaze at Taiwan’s Landscape and Products 主圖
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Exhibition period: Sept. 21, 2022-May 31, 2023
At: The Fourth Special Exhibition Hall, Taiwan Hakka Museum (No.6, Tongke S. Rd., Jiouhu Village, Tongluo Township, Miaoli County), closed on Tuesday.

About the exhibition

Since the 17th century, various imperial powers started to view Taiwan from their own viewpoints. This exhibition explores Taiwan through the maps made by these empires and products specifically on display with the course of history in two different explanatory threads. The first thread, “the gaze of the empires,” namely, from the Dutch East Indian Company, Qing Dynasty to Empire of Japan, demonstrates how these imperial regimes investigated the geographical features and social customs of Taiwan via the angles of sovereign governance.


The second thread, “the native momentum,” reveals that local inhabitants in Taiwan, after having been through the reign of divergent empires, gradually developed Taiwanese consciousness, establishing their own discourse to identify themselves.

The chorographic map of Taiwan during the reign of emperor Qianlong

▲The chorographic map of Taiwan during the reign of emperor Qianlong (partly)
Of an anonymous authorship in the mid-18th century.

46 x 667 cm (the size of the original work)
Courtesy of National Palace Museum

The introduction of the exhibition 
Unit One: Graphic Taiwan
Via the maps of Taiwan and its adjacent sea areas drawn by different regimes, that is to say, the Dutch East Indian Company, Qing Dynasty, and Empire of Japan etc., it is clear to be observed the changes of Taiwan's appearance after the 17th century. If we view Taiwan through the geographic and geological perspectives, there might not be many changes in Taiwan in centuries. Nevertheless, perceiving from the angles of map making and human geography, there were numerous overturns in Taiwan’s look. Despite the fact that modern drawing techniques had been introduced in the Qing dynasty, plenty of maps of Taiwan at that time still remained drawn in freehand style.

The maps made in the Qing dynasty were drawn with marks including boarder lines, military bases, settlements, and official offices etc., showing politically- and practically-oriented shades

In the period of Japanese rule, based on modern scientific investigation and mapping technology, the government produced maps with more different styles and functions, by way of illustration, administrative diagrams, aerial views, and transportation routes, visually presenting the control from the government over the space and resources of Taiwan and displaying the management performance of the government. However, transportation network constructed by the colonial government and the effects of its administration also enabled the Taiwanese people to form a sense of oneness with the island; different ethnic groups living separately on the land gradually regarded the island as a whole.

The interactive application for interacting with 3D models of cultural relics

▲The interactive application for interacting with 3D models of cultural relics

Qing Dynasty, 18th -19th century
Multi-painted lacquer box with exposed colors and persimmon patterns on the lid
12.4 x18.6 cm (the size of the original work)
Courtesy of National Palace Museum

Unit Two: Productive Taiwan

What products and objects in Taiwan are worth introducing toward foreign friends?

With respect to the abovementioned question, Taiwanese people in different times would certainly have various answers in their minds. The factors in different eras, such as the progress of technology, overseas trades, and ecological environment, had influence on the exploitation and production then. The number of Formosan deer which could be found everywhere all over Taiwan in the early 17th century, has plummeted drastically after the bulk purchase of buckskin by the Dutch East Indian company. With considerable immigrants moving in and offering their labor for reclamation during the Qing Dynasty, the land of western Taiwan has gradually been developed into farmlands; the warm and humid weather and fertile soil in Taiwan nurtured abundant and diversified products, including tea and camphor which are closely associated with the Taiwanese Hakka community. Since the rule of Empire of Japan in 1895, the production of food crops in Taiwan had entered the next stage with modern technology for development and management.

During the reign of emperor Qianlong, Qing Dynasty
During the reign of emperor Qianlong, Qing Dynasty
Memorial to the throne (as written on paper folded in accordion form): A report on the harvest, weather and price conditions for early season rice, barley and wheat (harvest twice per year)
Author: Chin Chan-kuei, 1781 A.D., 22.5 x 10 cm (the size of the original work)
Courtesy of National Palace Museum

The Interactive Application For Interacting With 3D Models Of Cultural Relics
During The Reign Of Emperor Qianlong, Qing Dynasty
The Chorographic Map Of Taiwan During The Reign Of Emperor Qianlong
The Interactive Application For Interacting With 3D Models Of Cultural Relics
During The Reign Of Emperor Qianlong, Qing Dynasty
The Chorographic Map Of Taiwan During The Reign Of Emperor Qianlong
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