Hualien County is the hometown of Taiwan's beautiful stones, including black jade, blue jade, and chalcedony. Black jade is as dark as ink, blue jade is the same shade of sapphire as the ocean and the sky, and chalcedony is pure like crystal. Black jade has long been neglected by most people due to its darkness, but an exhibition in Hualien brings out its hidden beauty by showing a variety of crafty black jade creations.
"Pure Taiwan,” a three-month exhibition organized by the Hualien County Cultural Affairs Bureau and FreeImage Design, will run till Feb. 16 at the Hualien County Stone SculptureMuseum. Chen Jun-liang, one of the most influential curators in Asia, was invited to work with local jade artisan Wu Yi-sheng and blacksmith Hsieh Min-ling, who has studied in Germany, to explore the endless design opportunities offered by the colorful Hualien jade stones.
The main exhibition is in a spacious room with a long table, on which the jade artworks are presented as tableware and decorated with vegetables and fruits in a reference to Taiwan's rich food culture. The venue also provides special lighting for the displayed black jade chandeliers, which were crafted in the shape of lotus petals.
Another room, named "The Study,” houses motivational quotes written by 16 successful Taiwanese nationals, including pianist Chen You-hsiu, calligrapher Tong Yang-tze, architect Ray Chen, and legislator Kao Chin Su-mei. Together, their quotes serve to inspire the talented young generations who will one day take their place.
The next section, "Decorated Treasures,” showcases exquisite metalwork accessories featuring Hualien's colorful jade stones. The last section, "Quality Products,” displays innovative products made of eastern Taiwan's jade and stone, including black jade fountain pens and black jade USB flash drives.