To mark the fifth anniversary of the National Museum of Taiwan History, "Museum for Everyone: Exhibition of Donated Collection, 2011-2015” will display the significance of private collections in delineating Taiwanese history.
The opening ceremony was held on Jan. 13, in which many of the attending donors were senior citizens over the age of 80. "The Warmth of History (有溫度的歷史),” a short documentary film produced by director Hou Chi-jan (侯季然), has captured the personal stories of such donors and will be screened at the museum as part of the exhibition.
NMTH Director Lu Li-cheng (呂理政) explained that the museum's self-appointed mission is to become "a museum for everyone,” and part of that mission means mapping out Taiwan's past with private donations. In the past five years, the museum has received such donated artifacts as maps, manuscripts, deeds, diaries, old photographs, old books that were handed down for generations, and living appliances from earlier days.
Each item is of great historical and personal value, and the museum has received more than 20,000 artifacts from some 300 donators, which account for an estimated 23% of the museum's total collection. Thus, the donated artifacts have become an indispensable source of collectibles for the museum.
To echo the theme "Museum for Everyone,” the exhibition content is curated using the memories of ordinary Taiwanese people. Because there is a personal tale behind each donated artifact, the exhibition content covers the traces of each individual's life course from childhood to old age.
The rich and colorful life stories of six figures from different fields — Wang Tien-fu (王添福) and his wife of the Chin Chuan Cheng Grains Store (金泉成雜糧) in Tainan City,painter Hsieh Chao-chih (謝招治), midwife Lin Kung Tien-ken (林龔添根), dancer Lee Mei-hui (李惠美), athlete Chen Wen-yen (陳文炎), and photographer Huang Tse-hsiu (黃則修) — provide the basis for the "Figures of That Era” section.
Moreover, the NMTH has also assembled donated artifacts in three other major sections — "Fun Life,” "An Outline of Hundreds of Workers,” and "In Praise of Life.” The exhibition is held at the second exhibition room on the fourth floor of the museum between Jan. 13 and Oct. 23, 2016. All visitors are invited to jointly remember the story of yours and mine, which will go down as the collective history of Taiwan.
'Museum for Everyone'