The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts will pay tribute to a rare flower that bloomed in southern Taiwan over ninety years ago — Le Moulin Poetry Society (風車詩社) — by hosting a special exhibition on the art movements of 1930s Taiwan. Made possible by the collaboration of seven Taiwanese and Japanese museums and research institutes, "Synchronic Constellation: Le Moulin Poetry Society and its Time" will be open from June 29 through Sept. 15 in Taichung City.
Established in 1933, this poetry society was jointly founded by Taiwanese and Japanese poets, including Yang Chih-chang (楊熾昌), Lin Hsui-erh (林修二), Li Chang-jui (李張瑞), Chang Liang-tien (張良典), Kisi Reiko (岸麗子), and Toda Fusako (戶田房子). In line with the new spirit, intellectualism, and lyricism of that era, modernist poetry took the focus of most creative and publishing endeavors, and reshaped literary ideology. However, in the annals of Taiwanese literary history, the fate of this literary association born during the Japanese colonial era was meteoric, disappearing as quickly as it rose to prominence.
Le Moulin Poetry Society made two notable comebacks since, including as a topic that ignited heated discussions in the 1970s regarding pre-war Taiwanese modernist literature, and as the subject of the 2015 documentary "Le Moulin (日曜日式散步者)," whose director Huang Ya-li (黃亞歷) serves as lead curator of this exhibition.
The society was truly positioned at a unique spatial and temporal intersection, born within the literary context of the Japanese colonial era, yet rooted in global modernist trends and movements. Moreover, it was a time of great change that swayed the lives and destinies of Taiwan's cultural and literary figures, who left behind precious fragments from their life experiences, cultural inspirations, and historic incidents.
"Synchronic Constellation: Le Moulin Poetry Society and its Time" is co-organized by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts and the National Museum of History, with invaluable collections on loan from National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Fukuoka Prefectural Museum of Art; Seiji Togo Memorial – Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum of Art; National Museum of Taiwan Literature; and Academia Sinica’s Institute of Taiwan History.
Vintage manuscripts and loaned artifacts account for about 300 of the 800-plus items for display, followed by original works, reproductions, audiovisual files, books, graphics, and multimedia installations that employ new media technology and sound effects.
Le Moulin Poetry Society transcends the boundaries of art, moving from literature and film into an art museum. Here in Taichung, visitors will learn about the collective's modernist sensibilities, Asia's embracement of Western trends, the cultural resistance of art societies, the intrusion of politics, reflections on war, and the ways which artists from colonized Taiwan formed relationships with Japan, China, Korea, Europe, and America.
‘Synchronic Constellation: Le Moulin Poetry Society and its Time’
"Sea" by Harue Koga, 1929 © National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
"A Promotional Procession of Performers" by Chang Ching-yan, undated © National Museum of History
"Dawn" by Ye Huo-cheng, 1943 © National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
Curators and researchers will share their findings on June 29-30 in Taichung.