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1062 42 2

Vol. 42 No. 2
1 February 2017

Taiwan Panorama

Old Residences, Precious Memories


Ellisa Yao


Ive been reading Taiwan Panorama for years,
from my barefoot youth all the way through my time
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Thank you, Taiwan Panorama, beautifully eternal. (Ellisa Yao, Norway)
for the light you have shone upon
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Publisher: David Tawei LEE

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2017 l

Traces of the Past, EDITORS NOTE

Guides to the Future

T hough departed, those who went before

have left behind traces in the human
side bastion, has stood proud in northern
Taiwan for centuries. In addition to its stra-
tegic role, it has been a major site for trade,
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lived, to make their peace with fate. De- defined by Ershawan and Mt. Xuqiu, are
Sinorama Magazine
cades or centuries later, all that remains of restoring the grandeur of old Keelung. 951 Taiwan
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places for us to assess the shame and the of goldsmith Ruan Weng-mong, who has

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tions and subtle emotions. name. Every entry showcases some facet of General Manager: Jenny WU
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Wandering in such a place, gazing at old the local scene, showing off Taiwans many
images, it is as if one turns back the flow of attractions to the world.

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fact, every masterwork, you feel in the traces resolve to join hands and encourage each
of history the presence of another time. other on our life journeys. l
Keelung, this seaside fortress, this hill- (Tien Yun-liang/tr. by Darryl Sterk)

CONTENTS 1062 42 2 Vol. 42 No. 2 February 2017

Old Residences, Precious Memories


Disciplined Simplicity: Former Residences
of Respected Elder Statesmen


Living Legacies:
The Homes of Three Great Men of Letters


Where the Artists Lived:
Places of Sculpture, Dance and Song


Refined Elegance:
The Stylish Homes of Painters and Poets


Footsteps in Time:
In Search of Southern Masters

Southeast Asian Focus

40 Editors Note

The Fleeting World

Taiwanese Business Heroes
in Southeast Asia

01 62
Traces of the Past, Variety Pages
Guides to the Future


An Island Nations Market Takes Off
Indonesia Taiwan Chambers of
Commerce Chairman Chou Tsung-ho


Cover: The former residences of outstanding
Fostering ThaiTaiwanese Exchanges
people allow us to reflect on the example of their
lives and sense the spirit of days gone by. (photo
ThaiTaiwan Business Association
by Chuang Kung-ju, design by Hu Ju-yu) President Liu Shu-tien


Based in Vietnam, Expanding into
Southeast AsiaTaiwanese Chambers of
Commerce President Henry Hsieh

Trending Taiwan

88 localglobal

Trending Taiwan
The Nations Stories on Film



Old Meets New in the Harbor City


Local History


David Charles Oakley Shines a Light on
Kaohsiungs Past

Artists and Artisans



Ruan Weng-mong:
Art and Peoples Diplomacy

Old Residences, Precious Memories

Disciplined Simplicity:
Former Residences of
Respected Elder Statesmen

Northern Taiwan
Politics and

6 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Strolling through south Taipei, we can experience the past through the
architecture and atmosphere of residences from bygone days.

W ith Li Kwoh-ting (K.T. Li), Sun Yun-suan, and other

distinguished leaders at the helm, Taiwan was able to
navigate tumultuous years of crisis and step into a golden age,
becoming first among the four fast-growing economies known as
the Asian tigers. Discussed with great relish and nostalgia even
today, this was the Taiwan economic miracle!
While strolling through south Taipei, people today can expe-
rience the past through the architecture and atmosphere of K.T.
Lis Residence and the Sun Yun-Suan Memorial Museum, both of
which are tucked away in the city s side streets.

Old Residences, Precious Memories


1930 2


8 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

K.T. Lis residence is well preserved. The decorations in
the living room, the furnishings in the study, the bedrooms,
and even the plants in the the courtyard are just as they
were in Lis lifetime.

K.T. Lis Residence

A national treasure of simple living During the war Li and his wife, Sung Chinghsiung,
Located at No. 3, Lane 2, Taian Street in the Zhong moved 13 times due to wartime conditions, and in one
zheng District of Taipei and built around 1935, the old year alone they were forced to relocate four times. Upon
home of Li Kwoh-ting (19102001) was once the official arriving in Taiwan in 1948, they resided in the company
residence of a highlevel civil servant from the Japanese apartments of the Taiwan Shipbuilding Corporation in
colonial Bureau of Transportation. After World War the small lanes near Linyi Street in Taipei before moving
II, it became the residence of the minister of finance. to what is today known as Kwohting Lis Residence.
It was here that Li, known as the father of Taiwans K.T. Lis Residence is a typical example of residential
technology, lived for nearly three decades, from 1972 architecture designed for highranking officials of the
until his death. age, and is today protected as a historic monument. The
After surviving the SinoJapanese War and the historic site covers an area of about 1000 square meters,
Chinese Civil War, people hailing from various parts and the building itself something over 180 square meters.
of mainland China decamped to Taiwan with the The former residence is in pristine condition, with orig
Nationalist government in what has been called his inal decorations adorning the living room and original
torys greatest exodus, and over time became part of furnishings in the study. From the bedrooms to the court
the local population. Among them was the Nan jing yard, flowers adorn the house much the same as during
born Li Kwohting, better known as K.T. Li. Funded by Lis time. The walkways in front of the building are lined
scholarships, he had studied mathematics and physics with starfruit, sweet osmanthus, camellias, and Chinese
at Cambridge University and conducted research on plum, as well as 11 cherry trees, making this a favorite
nuclear physics and lowtemperature superconductors. spot with local people during cherry blossom season.
He returned to China at the age of 27 due to the out The main building is constructed of wood, and the in
break of the SinoJapanese War. More than a decade terior mixes Japanese and Western elements, with rooms
later, he would arrive in Taiwan and plant the seeds for that flow one into another. Upon stepping into the
Taiwans rapid economic development. house, the floorboards creak, and the walls and wooden

Old Residences, Precious Memories

K.T. Li fashioned a primitive pedometer using just Chinese chess
pieces and walnuts, an example of his lifes stoic simplicity.

During his life, K.T. Li held many posts related to economics
and finance, including president of the Taiwan Shipbuilding
Corporation, secretary-general of the Council for US Aid, minister
of economic affairs, minister of finance, and senior advisor to the


10 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

doors give it the feel of a giant cupboard, leaving a deep
impression on visitors. This is one of Taiwans few
authentic old residences! says Wan Chichao, secretary 2001520
K.T. Lis calendar, of the type he used for years, sits on
general of the K.T. Li Foundation for the Development the front of his desk. The last entry is from May 20, 2001,
the day Li collapsed and was rushed to the hospital.
of Science and Technology.
The old residence reflects Lis penchant for a simple,
disciplined life. When the joints of the diningroom
chairs began to loosen, the Lis simply trussed them up
with cord, says Wan, as an illustration of the restraint
and rectitude of the couples lifestyle.
Wans explanation of the Chinese chess pieces and
walnuts set out on a low table helps visitors understand
the methodical routines of Lis life. He would walk
vigorously a set distance and then place a chess piece
on the table. He then marked each round of ten laps by
placing a walnut next to the chess pieces, in effect creat
ing a unique pedometer.
Wan notes that the two monthly lectures and other
activities sponsored by the foundation help draw visi
tors to the old residence. He hopes that a plan to create
a rooftop garden next year will help to reduce costs, ac

cord with environmental trends, and reflect Lis lifelong

leadership that sought to bring Taiwan to the forefront

K.T. Li, thorough in all things, elaborates on his economic
concepts through charts and data. His persistence allowed him of science and technology.
to achieve great things as a public servant.
(courtesy of K.T. Lis Residence) The former servants quarters of the old residence
have also been converted into an exhibition space. Al
ready the space features a documentary film, funded
by Bruce C.H. Cheng, founder of Delta Electronics and
current honorary chairman of the K.T. Li Foundation,
examining the life and career of K.T. Li.
It is thanks to K.T. Li that Taiwan has export pro
cessing zones, venture capital, an IT industry, science
parks, and an optoelectronics industry, says Sun Chen,
former president of National Taiwan University, about
Li, who was considered a national treasure even be
fore his death. While various industries took root, the
economy advanced, peoples salaries rose, and life grew
more prosperous, Li slowly grew old still living in the
antiquated Japanesestyle residence, continuing to work
for the good of the country.

Old Residences, Precious Memories


1984 19802006




12 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Sun Yun-Suan Memorial Museum

A premier and his economic miracle

Of the three giants of finance, during Taiwans
early stages of economic development, Yin Chungjung
died in 1963 and Yen Chiakan retired due to illness in
1986. But it was K.T. Li who had the most lasting influ
ence on and made the greatest contribution to Taiwans
economy. In the subsequent generation, Sun Yunsuan
(19132006), Chao Yaodong and others built on the leg
acy of the three giants, and facilitated Taiwans transfor

mation from an agricultural to an industrial society and

the shift from traditional industries to high-tech fields.
As public figures of great stature, both K.T. Li and Sun
Above, Sun Yun-suan
Yun-suan worked selflessly for the good of the country. inspects the progress of
a construction project.
For most of their lives, neither owned property, and lived At left, Sun and his wife,
instead in government housing for two to three decades, Yu Hui-hsuen, at home
in their twilight years.
toiling in the public interest. (courtesy of the Sun
Yun-Suan Memorial
The Sun YunSuan Memorial Museum, which opened Museum)
on October 30, 2014, is located in Taipeis Zhongzheng
District at Lane 6, Chongqing South Road Section 2, near
the Taipei Botanical Garden. It was Suns official residence
while he served as premier. Constructed between 1904 todays stateowned Bank of Taiwan). In the postwar
and 1905, it originally served as a residence for officials era, it continued to house bank officials until 1978.
from the Japaneseera Bank of Taiwan (the forerunner of As premier, Sun first lived in a Japanese-era official
residence on Section 2 of Jinan Road where he had been
living since his days as president of the Taiwan Power

Company. The widening of Ji nan Road, however, re

The exhibition hall features an obelisk with an inscription by duced the size of houses courtyard, and the tight liv
Chiang Kai-shek reading spread light across the land. It reflects
Sun Yun-suans success in the arduous task of building an east ing quarters had always made it inconvenient to host
west power transmission line across Taiwans high mountains
while he was chief engineer of the Taiwan Power Company.
visitors. President Chiang Chingkuo repeatedly urged
a reshuffling of official residences, and in 1980 Sun
moved into the new compound, which measures more
than 2800 square meters. He remained there for 26 years
until his death in February 2006.
When Sun moved in, however, he found that nearly
half the structure had been damaged by termites. That
portion was torn down and replaced with a West
ernstyle structure, which was combined with the
undamaged portion of the Japanesestyle building, re
sulting in todays EastmeetsWest appearance. Because
of its historical and cultural significance, the residence,

Old Residences, Precious Memories

28 Sun Yun-suans original diary is on display in the
museum. The passages provide a blueprint for Taiwans
economic development.

K.T. Li (left) and Sun Yun-suan (right) advocated for the founding
of the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Parknow known as the
Hsinchu Science Parkand formulated early national policy for
Taiwans technology sector. Both are figures of national stature and
unquestioned integrity who worked tirelessly to promote the national
interest. (courtesy of the Sun Yun-Suan Memorial Museum)


14 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

after Suns death, was quickly designated as one of Tai The passage leading to the Japanesestyle residence
peis historic sites and refurbished. is adorned with family pictures, including photos of
Cai Yi jun, director of the Sun YunSuan Memorial Sun dancing with his wife, Yu Hui hsuen, laughing
Museum, enthusiastically explains that the memorial with his kids in the courtyard, and reading with his
includes both the Western and the Japanesestyle struc grandchildren while lying on the floor. Along both walls
tures. The former focuses on Suns life as a public ser of the hallway run railings that his son had installed to
vant, the latter his private life. The reception area in the help Sun learn to walk again after he suffered a stroke
Westernstyle structure is the only part of the building and was confined to a wheelchair.
that retains its original appearance. The space displays Suns original diary and an in
In the Westernstyle exhibition hall, there is a small stallation that allows visitors to flip through a digitized
scale replica of an obelisk with an inscription by Pres version. It includes a passage by Chiang Chingkuo that
ident Chiang Kaishek that reads Spread light across still moves people to tears. To me, you are more than
the land. The actual monument, which stands on the a brother, it reads. Once I found out you had had a
boundary between Nan tou and Hua lien Counties, stroke, I came to see you 28 times.
commemorates the construction in the early 1950s of In photos, Sun takes on the stern, determined ap
highvoltage lines to feed hydroelectric power across pearance of the eternal premier (a nickname by which
the mountains from Eastern Taiwan, under Suns lead he was known), but love letters to his wife show a more
ership as chief engineer at the Taiwan Power Company. delicate side. My most beloved companion, he be
But this was far from being Suns only accomplishment. gins with his typical form of address. People say that
Born in Penglai, Shandong Province, Sun graduated love can be as deep as the ocean, but my love for you
from the Harbin Institute of Technology. Just after the is deeper even than the deepest parts of the Pacific, the
war, at the beginning of his time at Taipower, he gath deepest of all oceans.
ered around him hundreds of specialists and through With the melodies of Chopin floating through the ex
tireless efforts restored 80% of the nations electrical in hibition hall, one can imagine the charming spectacle of
frastructure, which had been destroyed during the war, Sun and his wife dancing lightly to the strains of music.
in a five-month perioda powerful rebuke to Japanese Under the skilled hands of an architect, the old chauf
taunts that Taiwan would return to the dark ages feurs quarters have been remodeled to serve as a small
within three months. new exhibition space containing cultural and artistic
products. The exterior has been fitted with plate glass
that reflects the greenery of the garden. In order not to

interfere with the visual integrity of the main building,

The museums newest exhibition space provides a venue for part of the new exhibition space has been moved under
lectures, meetings, and cultural activities. By honoring his lofty
ideals, the memorial hopes to carry on the immortal spirit of Sun ground. It provides a venue for, among other things, lec
Yun-suan. (courtesy of the Sun Yun-Suan Memorial Museum)
tures, meetings, and cultural activities, such as the reg
ular meetings of the TSMC Literary Salon, cosponsored
by the TSMC Education and Culture Foundation and
the United Daily News. By honoring his lofty ideals, the
memorial hopes to blend the old and the new, operate as
a sustainable enterprise, and introduce the public to the
immortal spirit of Sun Yunsuan. l
(Tempest Lai/photos by Lin Min-hsuan/
tr. by Paul Cavey)

Old Residences, Precious Memories

Living Legacies:
The Homes of Three
Great Men of Letters

Northern Taiwan

16 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Three very different residences
document the lives led by
champion of liberalism Yin Hai-
kuang, great Sinologue Lin Yu-
tang, and master essayist Liang
Shih-chiu during their time in

A modest cottage in a yard, an orientaloccidental hybrid

blue-and-white villa, and an elegant Japanese-style lodg-
ingthese three residences of completely different styles are the
respective former abodes of the champion of liberalism Yin Hai-
kuang, the great Sinologue Lin Yutang, and the master of the in-
formal essay Liang Shih-chiu, and provide a record of their daily
lives in Taiwan.
Though long departed, these celebrated figures of literature
and learning have left us traces in which we may glimpse the
values and styles of a generation of intellectuals. Every brick
(courtesy of the Yin Hai-kuang Memorial Foundation) and tile illuminates the Taiwan they knew.

Old Residences, Precious Memories


Walking in Yins residence, the green sun-dappled shade of
the garden seems to freeze time.

18 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Yin Hai-kuang was a major liberal scholar in the 1950s
and 1960s, whose commitment to liberty set an example
for intellectuals. (courtesy of the Yin Hai-kuang Memorial

Yin Hai-kuangs Residence

A garden cottage

Strolling down the alleys and lanes off Tai shun

Street in the Gongguan area of Taipei, it is easy to miss

the former home of the liberal scholar Yin Hai-kuang

It is a Japanese-style cottage with a large yard, which
Yin built by himself after applying for permission to Na-
tional Taiwan University. When he passed away in 1969,
this had been his longest abode in Taiwan.
Yin Hai-kuang was a major liberal scholar during the

1950s and the 1960s, and a lifelong exponent of liberal-

ism. Unafraid of the powers that be, he bravely voiced

concerns about the social issues of his time, becoming a
model for his generation of intellectuals to follow. Though
he is now long departed, the example he set lives, and the
traces of his daily life remain in his humble residence.

The display area contains many black-and-white
photographs and manuscripts, allowing the visitor to
visualize Yin indulging his passions for thinking and

Old Residences, Precious Memories

Deeply influenced
by the philosophers
Bertrand Russell and
Karl Popper and the
economist Friedrich
von Hayek, Yin Hai-
kuang wrote many
works in his lifetime.

A4 2015



20 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

The pool in the garden was built by Yin Hai-kuang has combined elements of puzzle-solving, exploration,
for his newborn daughter soon after the family moved travel and gaming to set a game here, as an invitation to
in. Next to the pool is the cottage. Often mistaken for the public to come treasure hunting.
a work of the Japanese era, the house was built by Yin Since he succeeded as director of the Yin Hai-kuang
himself. In this nearly 100-square-meter cottage, the Academic Foundation, Lu Kuei-hsien, associate profes-
biggest room is Yins sunlit study, a place for him to sor of sociology at Fu Jen Catholic University, has tried
indulge his passion for thinking and reading. With the to give the serene former residence a higher profile.
passage of time, the cottage remains the same, but the Most events at Yins house have been held in recogni-
dcor has changed: old photographs, manuscripts and tion of Yins humanistic spirit. Besides regular lectures,
letters now bring Yins bygone era to life. a Hai-kuang Reading Group has been held once every
In one black-and-white photograph, Yin, wearing an two years, with professors from National Taiwan Uni-
undershirt with a shovel in hand, is building the pad- versity and Academia Sinica meeting weekly over a
dling pool for his newborn daughter. Another is of Yin period of two months to guide group discussions of
and his wife Hsia Chun-lu on their wedding day. On the works such as Democracy in America by the 19th-century
other side of the room is a display of Yins manuscripts. traveler Alexis de Toqueville or The Pasteurization of
Besides his letter of appointment from National Taiwan France by the contemporary French sociologist of sci-
University, one can see a draft of a letter to the tradi- ence Bruno Latour.
tional scholar Chien Mu. The draft, smaller than an A4- After six years of discussion and preparation, the Yin
size sheet of paper, is replete with red, black and blue Hai-kuang Foundation officially opened the house to
edits, exemplifying Yins serious, rigorous personality. visitors in 2008, as part of the celebrations surrounding
In the letter display are examples of Yin Hai-kuangs the 80th anniversary of National Taiwan University. The
correspondences with Albert Einstein and Bertrand opening was particularly meaningful for the members
Russell. Naturally, one can also find many articles of of the foundation, who had worked hard to see this day
Yins, published in the Free China Journal, in which he for years. The preservation of the house is a symbol of
expressed his liberal philosophy. Yin Hai-kuangs legacy, and it is also very important for
This year, the once-tranquil former residence has preserving his spirit, says executive secretary Hsieh
been livened up. Not only has it become a gallery space Chia-hsin.
for the art organization Bio Apartment, but
reality adventure games, so popular among
young people, have also arrived. The main
organizer, Kiwi Fruit Studio, has creatively
designed and released a semi-fictional re-
ality game based on Yin Hai- kuangs life.
City Game Studio, a company from Tainan,

To carry on Yins humanistic spirit, a regular Hai-

kuang Reading Group is held in his former
residence, with invited scholars leading discussions
of classic texts. (courtesy of the Yin Hai-kuang
Memorial Foundation)

Old Residences, Precious Memories

With its white walls and sapphire glazed
roof tiles, Lin Yutangs residence, designed
by architect Wang Dahong, is a landmark
on Yangde Boulevard, the main way up Mt.



22 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Moment in Peking and The Importance of Living
are two of the over 80 books Lin wrote that made
him famous around the world.

tang chose to relocate to Taiwan. He had this
two-story culturally hybrid house built on the

slope of Mt. Yangming. Unlike the aloof re-
Lin Yutang and his wife
Liao Tsui-feng, who were serve of other such residences, the Lin Yutang
always savoring refined
pleasures in daily life, are House is open, capacious and dynamic, not
pictured here sipping tea on unlike the man who lived here. Every detail
the balcony of their home.
(courtesy of the Lin Yutang of the design reflects his love of nature.
Moreover, the events held monthly or
weekly in the house are usually inspired by
his humorous and witty stories.
The Lin Yutang House
Only recently the curtain fell on an exhibit
A new look for an old villa on the little things in life. It drew on Lins
Situated on the busy Yangde Boulevard, the main discourses on tea in The Importance of Living, allow-
way up Mt. Yang ming, the Lin Yu tang House is a ing visitors to talk about reading and about tea while
masterpiece from the hand of architect Wang Dahong. admiring the beautiful craftsmanship of Chinese tea
Now, it is a place where people come to remember Lin utensils. Lins house also offers fortune cookies with
Yutang. bons mots from The Importance of Living. Visitors can en-
Lin Yu tang (19851976) is known for his expla- joy desserts and be enlightened by Lin Yutangs witty
nations of Chinese history and culture in books like remarks.
Moment in Peking, The Importance of Living, and The Beside the regular activities, this year the curators
Gay Genius: The Life and Times of Su Tungpo. Combining of the Lin Yutang House thought up an idea involving
Chinese and Western humanism, the man wrote over former residences of other famous intellectuals. In the
80 books. He was one of the few Chinese writers who middle of next year, in cooperation with the former res-
could make a name for himself internationally by writ- idences of Chien Mu, Liang Shih-chiu and K.T. Li, and
ing in English. While a serious scholar, Lin Yutang was the Sun Yun-suan Memorial Museum, the Lin Yutang
also a delightful humorist. House will hold an exhibition of exchanged epistles.
In 1969, after some years in the United States, Lin Yu- The idea behind this exhibition is like an exchange

Old Residences, Precious Memories

A typewriter, American academic regalia
the Lin Yutang House displays material
objects from Lins life.


The Lin Yutang House holds regular activities, many inspired by
Lins personal tastes. For instance, at the end of spring, a soft
spring roll festival is held in memory of Lins love of this Chinese
delicacy. (courtesy of the Lin Yutang House)

24 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02


Two years were spent restoring Liang
Shih-chius former living quarters, to
preserve a scholarly air in the bustling
commercial area around National
Taiwan Normal University.

The Liang Shih-chiu House

of diaries, explains Tsai Jia-fang, the director of the A shrine to Liangs spirit
Lin Yutang House. These important intellectuals knew As editor of a popular ChineseEnglish dictionary and
each other well, and often sent letters back and forth. a middle school English reader and as a promoter of the
Why not continue the practice between their former KK (Kenyon and Knott) phonetic transcription system,
homes? Now visitors will be able to read Chien Mus Liang Shih-chiu (19031987) had a huge impact on En-
letters in Lin Yu tangs house, or appreciate Lin Yu- glish language education in Taiwan. In 2010, the house
tangs handwriting at Liang Shih-chius place. Itll be that was his residence during his days at National Taiwan
like a relay race, a surprising and pleasing encounter. Normal University (NTNU) was restored and opened to
Who knows who youll meet at a certain residence! the public.
Lively forums and a master Sinologues former res- Before Liang moved in, this had been the domicile of
idence do not at first seem to go together, but actually Yoshisuke Tomita, professor of English at Taihoku High
they do. Reading Lins The Importance of Living, we can School. It was built in 1933. After the war, when many
learn that his philosophy of life is exactly the same as Japanese people left Taiwan, it was taken over by Taiwan
an idea that is often advocated todaydownshifting. Provincial Teachers College (todays NTNU) to serve as
Lin Yutang was surrounded by life. He left this com- living quarters for faculty.
ment on his white stucco house with blue roof and Though Liang only lived here seven years, from 1952
window frames: In the residence is a garden; in the until 1959, when he relocated to the United States, this was
garden is a house; in the house is a courtyard; in the where he translated Shakespeare and compiled his dic-
courtyard stand some trees; above the trees is the sky; tionary for the Far East publishing company. And though
in the sky hangs the moontrue happiness indeed! others moved in after, it is so important to the owner
Visitors to Lin Yu tangs former residence might feel NTNUthat Liang lived here that two years were spent
the same pleasure in life, the delight that does not rebuilding it on the original site, preserving an atmosphere
come from without but can only be achieved within. of culture and books in the busy area around the university.

Old Residences, Precious Memories






Liangs elegant Japanese dwelling was where he
translated Shakespeare and compiled his famous Far
East dictionary.


26 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

The Liang House displays many
of Liang Shih-chius manuscripts,
allowing visitors to appreciate his
literary talent.

In charge of operations is Xiaowanzi (mischie-

vous child, the nickname of Wu Tzu-ying). Two
years ago, she rented the Liang House to uphold
the mans humanistic spirit by holding artistic
symposiums and public workshops there.
More important than the restoration of an old
residence and its furnishings is the preservation of
its spirit, Xiaowanzi explains. That is why after
two years here she still refuses to sell snacks or
beverages. The sole use of the space is for lively
speeches and animated seminars.
All the activities held at the Liang House are
intended to express the aesthetic attitude and hu-
manistic spirit that Liang expressed in his A Cottag-
ers Sketchbook.
When you visit the former residences of Yin Hai-
kuang, Lin Yutang and Liang Shih-chiu, and witness
the vigorous strokes of the manuscripts they left be-

hind, the past will talk tirelessly to you. l

Wu Tzu-ying, the artistic director of the Liang House, has held
many artistic symposiums there, filling the quiet space with music
(Liu Yingfeng/photos by Lin Min-hsuan/
and conversation. (courtesy of the Liang House) tr. by Darryl Sterk)

Old Residences, Precious Memories

Where the Artists Lived:

Places of Sculpture,
Dance and Song

Northern Taiwan
Art and

28 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

All the preserved details, both large and small, of an artists former home
speak volumes about the person who lived there, and beckon the visitor
to pause and think.

T he sculptor Pu Tien-shen struggled through illness in his

high-ceilinged atelier to execute a sculpture in memory of
kindergarten teacher Anita Lin.
Songwriter Li Lin-chiu completed the lyrics for the pop classic
Pining for the Spring Breeze in his traditional Minnan-style
home, accompanied by shaojiu wine and the sweet scent of tuber-
ose flowers.
In her wood-floored studio, Tsai Jui-yueh choreographed one
dance after another that would rank among the classics in Taiwan.
Can our shared beliefs live and breathe within a building? How
many peoples common memories can fit into a given space?
Much of what an artist does over the course of a lifetime will
have been done in the residence where he or she has lived. After
the artist passes away, that residence becomes the focus of nos-
(courtesy of the Tsai Jui-yueh Dance Foundation) talgia and memory.

Old Residences, Precious Memories


Shown here in the former residence of Pu Tien-shen is Light 9
of Spring, a work that he entered in the 1st Japan Fine Arts
Exhibition in 1958.






30 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Pu Hao-chih poses before a self-portrait painted by his father, who executed many outstanding works
of art in this spacious atelier with its 7.5-meter-high ceiling.

TSP Sculpture Memorial Museum

Recording Taiwan in sculpture Chen Cheng-po) connected him up with a client who
Anyone who turns into Lane No. 9 off Linsen North commissioned Pu to execute Taiwans first bronze
Road in Tai pei cant help but notice an equestrian statue of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. Even in the hazardous po-
statue of the Qing-Dynasty official Wu Feng. Located litical climate of that time, Pu never compromised on
in the front yard of a Japanese-style house that was his artistic principles, and was thus unwilling to put a
once the home of sculptor Pu Tien-shen (19121996), it military cap on a bronze statue depicting Chiang Kai-
rises a full foot higher than the perimeter wall behind shek in otherwise full military regalia.
which it stands. However, an artist does have to make a living. The
One of Taiwans most important modern sculp- only way to support a family is to accept commissions
tors, Pu learned his craft from the great Japanese from wealthy politicians and business leaders. Pus
master Fu mio Asa kura. In 1941, Pu bid adieu to his father-in-law was a victim of the February 28 Incident
master and returned home to contribute what he had because he had used art to fight against the rampant
learned. Once back, his father-in-law (the painter lies and slander of the day. Pus family members used

Old Residences, Precious Memories



Pu Hao-chih, director of the TSP Sculpture Memorial Museum,
works hard to promote art education. (courtesy of TSP Sculpture
Memorial Museum)



Pu Tien-shen lying
down in front of some
sculptures from his
Sports Series that
depict gymnasts in
motion. These works put
Pus technical mastery
on full display. (courtesy
of TSP Sculpture
Memorial Museum)

32 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

the method most familiar to themartto get over the works in his fathers Sports Series. He also re-
their sadness and move on. worked his fathers The Poet into a new piece of art by
Pus eldest son, Pu Hao-ming, is also an active removing the hands and head to show a man deep in
sculptor whose works have been selected for five Sa- thought. The piece achieves an odd sense of balance
lon Exhibitions in France, and his granddaughter Pu despite the disembodiment of its subject. Expanded
Yi-chun began showing precocious abilities at the age to over two meters in height, the new work is named
of eight. Her avant-garde works have now been se- Part of a Poet, and stands as a piece of public art on
lected for six Salon Exhibitions in France. the Kuang-Fu Campus of National Cheng
Pus third son, Pu Hao-chih, since retiring has taken Kung University.
over as head of the TSP Sculpture Memorial Museum. The Pu family now has a base where
After spending five months going through all of his its art can be passed on from generation
father s works, Pu Hao-chih opened the elder Pus to generation, but more important still
home to the public as a sculpture museum. On display is the task of familiarizing more peo-
there are the mans paintings, and the beloved rock- ple with the spirit of Pu Tien-shen.
ing chair where he would down a Taiwan Beer every Four years after the museum
day, along with sculptures from three generations of opened to the public, a marker was
Pu-family artists. Hanging on a wall of the atelier is an added to maps of the Taipei Mass
image of Pu Tien-shen and Pu Yi-chun working clay Rapid Transit system to indicate
together. Pu Hao-chih, with evident pride, showed us that the Former Residence of Pu
a sculpture done by his father in which the six-year- Tien-shen is located not far from
old Hao-chih is depicted hugging a dog. the Shandao Temple station. But the
Under Pu Hao-chihs leadership, the museum once Pu family has a loftier vision than
organized a program in which visually impaired that. Plans for a fine arts museum
people had the chance to try their hand at sculpture. and a sculpture park are already
It has also helped National Tai pei University hold in the works, and people are
an activity that offers course credit, and Pu even looking forward with eager
managed to persuade the Chimei Museum to acquire anticipation.

The Pu family has produced three generations of sculptors.
The works pictured here, from left to right, are
Pu Hao-mings Female Rider, Pu Yi-chuns
Little Dancer Series, No. 1, and Pu Tien-shens
In Fond Memory. (courtesy of TSP Sculpture
Memorial Museum)

Old Residences, Precious Memories





The former residence of Li Lin-chiu, located on a narrow lane
off Xining North Road in Taipei, is open to the public. But Li had
to sell the first floor years ago to pay off debts after he invested
in an unsuccessful film, so visitors must climb a narrow wooden
staircase to get a look at the home of one of Taiwans finest
songwriters of the 20th century.

The original manuscript of
Mending a Broken Net.

34 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

The oft-heard description three parts elegant, seven
parts low-brow applies quite aptly to Lis songwrit-
ing style. As a member of a highly educated family,
he had a deep mastery of the Chinese language; at the
same time, his concern about the well-being of others
prompted him to write with everyday people in mind.
In 2009, to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth, a
statue was placed in Da dao cheng Park depicting Li
The trademark registration certificate for Lis Pining sitting on a bench writing song lyrics and enjoying the
for the Spring Breeze, dated 1937.
sunset over the Danshui River. Children playing in the
park today often scramble onto Lis shoulders, and one
might almost think he was giving them a piggyback
Li Lin-chius Residence
ride. The scene is heartwarming, just like Lis songs.
Writing lyrics in the night Guided tours are available by reservation at Lis
Li Lin-chiu (19091979), one of Taiwans best-loved former residence on Xi ning North Road. His son, Li
songwriters of his day, is especially well known for the Xiu jian, has faithfully preserved the original design
lyrics of Pining for the Spring Breeze: Lonely even- and weathered look of the old home. The old wooden
ing, sleepless under the light / As the spring breeze staircase creaks when you ascend it, and the everyday
blows in from across the way / A lass of 17 or 18, un- household items of a bygone day afford visitors a feel
married yet / Gazes upon a young man.... This tale of for how people used to live.
a lovesick girl has remained a popular classic for gener- On the day this reporter visited, we sat around the
ations. Even many Taiwanese people living abroad have very table where Li wrote the lyrics to Pining for the
no problem singing the whole song from memory. Spring Breeze as Li Xiu jian spoke about the rituals
Li grew up in Taipeis Dadaocheng, in those days a involved in his fathers work routine. Whenever their
flourishing tea export district, where the Taiwan Cultural mother went out to the market to buy his wine and
Association was founded. Young people living there in flowers, the kids knew that papa was planning to write
the 1930s, deeply affected by the intellectual stirrings of song lyrics and they would therefore have to bathe and
the day, yearned for freedom, democracy, and equality. go to bed early. On display at the home are the artists
Li wrote the lyrics to Pining for the Spring Breeze in wine-warming cup together with its accompanying
1933 at the age of 24. The song describes a young girl outer and inner pots; he would fill the larger pot with
longing for love in a traditional society where gender hot water and fill the smaller inner pot with wine. After
equality doesnt exist and young people have little say pouring a cup, he would cover it for three minutes, and
about who they are to marry. In 1947, as he neared age when he lifted the lid the aroma of the wine would fill
40, Li wrote the immensely popular Mending a Broken the air. Taking a ratty old pencil in hand, and sipping
Net. In a time of deep social divisions following the his favorite Hungluh Chiew (a liquor made from red
February 28 Incident of 1947, Lis song subtly hinted yeast rice), he would set about the task of transforming
at Taiwans recent history and expressed hope that the everyday life experiences into verse.
power of educated young people could bring about The Da dao cheng area where Li Lin-chiu spent his
better days for the country. The song ends on a hopeful entire life has declined markedly from its prosperous
note, declaring the fishermans intent to find the tools heyday, but it still exerts a powerful enchantment upon
he would need to fix his broken net. In effect, Li was visitors. People never tire of recounting the stories of
encouraging the people of Taiwan to gird themselves for old Taipei, and the former residence of Li Lin-chiu is
the struggle to achieve a better life. an indispensable part of the tapestry of the place.

Old Residences, Precious Memories

The table in front of his
familys ancestral shrine
was where Li Lin-chiu wrote
the lyrics to the pop classic
Pining for the Spring

Old photos and a graduation certificate offer insights into the life
of Li Lin-chiu.
Li Xiujian sits across from a statue of his father Li Lin-chiu in
Dadaocheng Park, as if the two were having a conversation. Li
Xiujian has preserved his fathers old home so that people will
always keep singing Pining for the Spring Breeze.


36 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

The Tsai Jui-yueh Dance Studio

Dance as life

In a little lane off Zhong shan North Road Section
2 sits an old Japanese-style residence topped by black
roof tiles. It is the former home and studio of the pio-

1921-2005 neering dancer Tsai Jui-yueh (19212005).

At the age of 16, Tsai went to Japan to study modern

dance. While there, she became determined to return

one day and promote modern dance in her native Tai-
wan. After the end of World War II, she boarded a ship
bound for Taiwan, and while aboard she choreographed
and performed Song of India and We Love Our Taiwan.

These works brought the people of Taiwan in contact

This is what the Tsai Jui-yueh Dance Studio looked like before an with modern dance for the first time ever.
arsonist put it to the torch. (photo by Yang Shizheng, courtesy of
the Tsai Jui-yueh Dance Foundation) But Taiwan was a treacherous place in those days.
Her husband Lei Shiyu was deported to China for po-
litical reasons, and Tsai soon afterward was thrown into
prison. After her release, she went back to earning a liv-
ing as a dance instructor, and continually choreographed
new dance pieces. By alluding in the performances to
her own experiences, she was able to use her body to
protest against the governments human rights abuses.
The authorities monitored her constantly, until at last
she emigrated with her son, Lei Dapeng, to Australia.
In 1994, after the Taipei City Government ordered

The Tsai Jui-yueh Dance Studio is the first dance studio in
Taiwan to be declared a historic landmark.

Old Residences, Precious Memories





Tsai Jui-yueh was
Taiwans first modern
dance artist. She is
shown here wearing a
costume used in Song
of India. (courtesy of
Tsai Jui-yueh Dance

80 1998

Tsai Jui-yueh (right) met in Taiwan in 1998 with her old friend and
former teacher Shi Jingl. (Taiwan Panorama file photo)



38 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

deeply moved when the artist suddenly got the urge to
dance and started turning in circles in the street. Thats
precisely who Tsai wasa dancer who had endured
much tragedy, yet wanted only to dance, and was pre-
pared to enjoy it at any time or place.
The reconstruction of Tsais residence was unfor-
tunately not completed until after she passed away in
2005. Friends and supporters named the rebuilt struc-
ture the Rose Historic Site in commemoration of one of
her best known works, The Prison and the Rose.
In 2006, the Tsai Jui-yueh Dance Foundation held the
A dance troupe from the Saowac indigenous community is
shown here taking part in a ceremony at a press conference at Tsai Jui-Yueh International Dance Festival and the Tsai
the Tsai Jui-Yueh International Dance Festival.
Jui-Yueh Cultural Forum for the first time. These events
continue to go strong today, and were each held for the
the demolition of Tsais dance studio, the cultural com- eleventh time in 2016. The foundation and the forum
munity rose up in protest, calling on the city govern- are very concerned about such causes as judicial reform,
ment to preserve the site as a historic landmark. But just social justice, freedom, and democracy, and are big
days after the Tsai Jui-yueh Dance Studio was declared supporters of people in all fields who are fighting for
a historic monument in 1999, it was deliberately set the causes they believe in. The idea is to use dance to
ablaze. Tsai, who had returned to Taiwan from Austra- ensure that the Taiwan Tsai loved so deeply can become
lia to devote herself once again to modern dance, was a better place.
reduced to tears as she surveyed the charred remains of The most powerfully moving works of art are invari-
the studio: I feel as if I had lost a daughter. ably those born of bitter pain. When visiting the homes
But Tsai, a resilient survivor of great hardships, kept of the artists of yesteryear, we have an opportunity to
right on teaching students amidst the blackened ruins revel in the beauty of their craft. At the same time the
of her studio. Chan Tien-chen (a.k.a. Yogi), who per- strength of their commitment to their beliefs and ideals
formed in Song of India and was directed by Tsai, recalls can give a person courage to carry on. Therein lies the
how Tsai, who had limited mobility due to arthritis, significance of the preservation of such sites. l
would sit in a chair and trace out dance motions with (Cathy Teng/photos by Jimmy Lin/tr. by David Mayer)
her arms, evincing the same excitement
and passion that a much younger Tsai had
shown the world upon her return to Tai-
wan from Japan. On Tsais 80th birthday,
Yogi (still quite young at the time) was

Young dancers today continue to practice
their art at the Tsai Jui-yueh Dance Studio,
the cradle of Taiwanese dance.

Old Residences, Precious Memories

Refined Elegance:
The Stylish Homes of
Painters and Poets


40 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Join us as we experience
the lives of three Taiwanese
masters through visits to their
former homes.

L in Chih-chu devoted his career to nihonga, or Japanese-style

painting, and came to be known as the father of Taiwanese
nihonga. Wu Zhuoliu founded Taiwan Literature and Arts mag-
azine and established the Wu Zhuoliu Prize for Literature, an
institution that is still encouraging the production of outstand-
ing work today. Watercolorist Xiao Rusong guided countless
students into the arts.
Lets take a peek at their lovely old homes, the lives they lived,
the work they did, and the education they provided to others.

Old Residences, Precious Memories


12 LIN

The wooden Lin Chih-chu Memorial rises against a backdrop
of blue skies and green trees, forming an oasis of quiet in the
bustling modern world.

42 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Standing in Lin Chih-chus old studio,

memorial curator Hwang Wey-jeng
says he hopes to transform the space
into an aesthetic hub that brings the
arts into everyday life.

The Lin Chih-chu


An aesthetic hub

The old Japanese-style A hinoki-scented room filled with Lin
wooden home is lovely against Chih-chus paintings, photographs
and the textbooks he wrote offers
its backdrop of bright, clear skies insight into the artists life.
and brilliant green trees. It is an
urban oasis, worlds away from
the noise of the heavy traffic
outside. The home on the banks of Taichungs Liuchuan When Lin returned to Taiwan after the war, he took
Creek used to belong to Lin Chih-chu (19172008), and a teaching position at the Taiwan Provincial Taichung
now serves as a memorial to the man and his work. Normal School and moved into the home the school
The son of a prominent Taichung family, Lin was sent provided on the banks of Liu chuan Creek. There, he
to school in Japan at age 12, and went on to study art at reshaped the living and work spaces inside the com-
what is now the Tokyo University of the Arts. His long ca- pounds bamboo fence to his own taste, building a
reer in the arts was punctuated by numerous awards from reflecting pool in the garden, allowing chickens and
the Taiwanese and Japanese arts communities, beginning peacocks to roam the grounds, removing the traditional
with the selection of his painting Morning Chill for Japans Japanese raised wooden floor, installing black floor tiles
Imperial Art Exhibition when he was just 24 years old. in a pattern like the character (huireturn), and
Lins specialty was nihonga, a Japanese style of paint- creating a pattern based on the letters of his surname on
ing also known as tyga. Although the style was gen- the ceiling. Hwang Wey-jeng, the memorials curator,
erally omitted from post-World-War-II exhibitions in says that every effort was made to preserve such de-
Taiwan for political reasons, Lins tireless efforts helped tails and incorporate symbols designed by Lin into the
rehabilitate and preserve it and ultimately earned him the buildings restoration. For example, the figure on the
nickname the father of Taiwanese nihonga. main gate was based on Lins original ceiling design.

Old Residences, Precious Memories

The memorial occasionally invites experts to share Lins life and
work with the public. The photo shows Lins Morning Chill, which
was exhibited in Japans Imperial Art Exhibition when Lin was a
young man. (courtesy of Lin Chih-chu Memorial)

Lins colorful and detailed paintings earned many awards
from Taiwans and Japans painting communities.
Shown above are Lins Good Day (top) and Happy
Couple. (courtesy of the Lin Chih-chu Memorial)

44 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Wu Zhuoliu lived in the Wu familys sanheyuan during his childhood,

his memories of those times becoming fodder for his later work.
The photo at right shows his old room.
The Wu Zhuoliu Residence

Lins studio is one of the memorials high points. It One heart, one mind
includes an entire wall covered with jars of pigments The old home of Wu Zhuo liu (19001976) in Hsin-
arranged into rows by colors, as well as his pens and chus Xinpu Township is a sanheyuan (a traditional home
brushes, and the pot he used to heat the gums used in his built around three sides of a courtyard) situated between
preferred painting style. It even includes his last painting, blue skies and golden rice paddies.
mounted in a frame off to one side of the room. It is as if Known as the Zhide Tang, the home is also the site
someone has turned back the clock, causing Lins old stu- of the Wu familys ancestral hall. The old sanheyuan has
dio to reappear before our eyes in all its former glory. experienced numerous changes since it was first built in
Reborn as an aesthetic hub, Hwang thinks that the 1840, including several renovations prior to its 2009 res-
old house is a public asset. In keeping with that thought toration. Wu Zaiyao, a seventh-generation member of the
and a desire to maintain Lins commitment to spreading Wu family and Wu Zhuolius great-nephew, currently
the arts, the memorial does not charge for admission. manages the property. Zaiyao was unwilling to see the
It serves its visual feast to all comers as if it were an art historically and culturally rich home fall into ruin and
gallery, featuring such representative examples of Lins hoped to make the public more aware of his great-uncles
work as Morning Chill and GoodDay, and also provides a literary contributions. He therefore contacted other fam-
platform for other artists to exhibit their work. ily members and, with the help of the Hsinchu County
The memorial occasionally arranges discussions on Cultural Affairs Bureau, first arranged the buildings res-
a variety of topics in the arts, and has even set Lins life toration and then opened it to the public in 2011.
story to pastoral music. It also encourages the use of Wu Zhuoliu built his literary foundations as a boy in
everyday language when talking about culture and the the house. His literary awakening came early, inspired
arts. by a childhood spent living with his grandfather, poet
Moving forward, Hwang is hoping to link Taichungs Wu Fangxin, in a small room at the front of one wing of
historic buildings, including the old city hall, Taichung the home. Wu Zaiyao says that his great-uncles poetry
Literary Park and other cultural destinations together is like a diary in verse, filled with travels and visits
into a string of cultured pearls. with friends.

Old Residences, Precious Memories



Wu Zaiyao is committed to maintaining the old Wu family
residence as a means of making the world more aware of his
great-uncle, the poet Wu Zhuoliu.




46 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Wu taught at several schools in Hsinchu and Miaoli
after graduating from normal school, and worked as a
journalist in Nanjing during World War II. He experi-
enced the period of Japanese rule in Taiwan, the islands
return to Chinese rule, and the February 28 Incident, and
produced numerous works of fiction informed by social
realism and criticism. Works such as Orphan of Asia, The
Fig Tree, and Taiwan Forsythia offer eyewitness accounts
of Taiwans recent history and depict the sense of root-
lessness that many Taiwanese had during that period.
Wu founded Taiwan Literature and Arts magazine in
1964, and through it fostered the early development
of many well known writers, including Chung Chao-
cheng, Qideng Sheng, and Huang Chun-ming. In 1969,
he used his pension fund to establish the Wu Zhuoliu
Prize for Literature, an award that continues to provide
encouragement to young Taiwanese writers today.
In 1976, Wu decided to turn the old family home into
an archive for Taiwanese literature, with the idea that

he would fill it with the work of Taiwanese writers. Wu
Wu Zhuoliu left behind a precious cultural legacy that
includes his poetry and fiction, his Taiwan Literature and Zaiyao still remembers his great-uncle happily describ-
Arts magazine, and his Wu Zhuoliu Prize for Literature.
ing plans to paint bookcases and fit them with glass
doors, and to transform the space into a treasury of Tai-
wanese letters. Unfortunately, Wu Zhuoliu passed away
from an illness in October of that same year, long before
the bookshelves could be filled.
A similar passion for literature compels the 78-year-

old Wu Zai yao to continue overseeing the old home

by himself and without pay. Nowadays, the residence
holds regular exhibitions aimed at introducing the pub-
lic to Wu Zhuolius life, displaying his work, and in-
201611 viting visitors to read it. The Hsinchu County Cultural
Affairs Bureau established an exhibit on Taiwanese
authors in the home in November 2016, furthering Wu
Zhuolius lifelong mission.

Wu Zaiyao has also extended an open invitation to

individuals and institutions to organize activities at the

home aimed at informing the public about his great-
uncles life and dedication to Taiwanese literature.

Old Residences, Precious Memories




48 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

The Xiao Rusong Art Park

A loving teacher
The Xiao Rusong Art Park consists of five Japanese-
style buildings located on a site of roughly 2000 square
meters in Zhudong Township, Hsinchu County. One of
these five, the Old Pine Residence, is the former home
of the watercolorist Xiao Rusong (19221992).
Xiao spent the majority of his life in the home, living

there from 1946 until his death in 1992. It still retains the
Park manager L Xiangmei (left) and fine arts teacher Zhang
same simple furniture and overall look it had then, with Zeping (right) are keeping Xiao Rusongs spirit alive, L by
preserving vestiges of Xiao in the old residence and Zhang by
details like tiny nubs of crayon on the desk providing adopting his former teachers methods in his own classroom at
visitors with a sense of his almost ascetic lifestyle. Zhudong Senior High School.

Xiao taught in and around Hsinchu for more than 40

years, giving his life to painting and teaching the arts. the sun out of bed every morning. Xiao was also a stick-
Hardworking and conscientious, he rose at five oclock ler who helped his students form useful habits through
in the morning, walked the same path to school, and al- demands that his classroom be kept neat and tidy, and
ways arrived on time at seven. People joked that he got that the papers, brushes and pigments on his own and
his students desks be arranged just so. Mr. Xiao didnt
just teach his students to paint; he taught them a way

of life, says Zhang Zheping, a former student of Xiaos

The old Japanese-style home and the carefully tended plants in who is himself a fine arts teacher at Zhudong Senior
the garden of the Xiao Rusong Art Park show an appreciation for
the beautiful things in life.
High School.
In addition to being a strict teacher, Xiao was also a
kind and compassionate father figure to his students
and children in general. In fact, he built the eye-catching
outhouse that stands outside his wooden home with his
own hands for children afraid to venture all the way to
the public toilet at night.
Never having studied abroad, Xiao taught him-
self, constantly studying the works of Impressionism,
Fauvism, Cubism, and other Western styles, while also
studying and practicing with calligraphers to gain better
control over his brushes. Xiaos integration of East and
West gave his work a distinctive character. He used his
command of light and color, images seen through glass,
and geometric forms to depict realistic scenes and give his
work a modern feel. The building next to Xiaos Old Pine
Residence now exhibits reproductions of his paintings.
In addition to describing Xiaos life and work, the
parks buildings also exhibit outstanding work by other

Old Residences, Precious Memories

Worn-out stubs of crayon, used-up tubes of pigment, and the
simple furnishings of the old house evoke Xiao Rusongs nearly
ascetic lifestyle.



50 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

The preservation and restoration of Xiao

Rusongs old residence help keep his legacy

The Pine Painting Hut exhibits Xiaos

paintings, allowing visitors to pause and
appreciate his brilliant treatment of light and

Taiwanese artists, hold occasional arts-related events, ers and poets to read their work there to transform it
and arrange DIY indigo dyeing activities. The building into an aesthetic, literary and musical destination.
known as the Pine Fragrance Hut even serves carefully By conserving and restoring these old homes, their
made meals amid pine trees and osmanthus flowers that managers are enabling the public to appreciate the pre-
add to the compounds relaxing atmosphere. We hope cious gifts that they still have to offer. Tarry in one for a
to manifest Xiaos spirit in every part of the park and to little while, sample its literary and artistic offerings, and
bring it into our visitors lives, says park manager L introduce a bit of its elegance into your workaday life! l
Xiangmei. In the future, she hopes to develop the park (Chen Chun-fang/photos by Chuang Kung-ju/
further, hosting local cultural festivals and inviting writ- tr. by Scott Williams)

Old Residences, Precious Memories

Footsteps in Time:
In Search of Southern Masters


52 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Afternoon breezes that blow
around old writers memorial
halls accompany their undying
literary spirits as they murmur of
the ceaseless passage of time.

D espite the brevity of life, one may still leave a legacy of

great achievements and contributions. To assess such leg-
acies, we visit the memorial halls of the writers Yeh Shih-tao
from Tainan and Chung Li-ho from Kaohsiung, for these are sites
that inspire gratitude and remembrance.

Old Residences, Precious Memories


The Tainan City Government renovated the old Tainan Forestry
Office to house the Yeh shyr-tau Literary Memorial Museum.


54 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

with his family to the Zuoying District in Kaohsiung
to take up a new post as an elementary school teacher.
From then on, he spent his days in Kaohsiung, but
most of his literary works depicted his life in Tainan
before he was 40. Yeh spent his later years at home on
Shengli Road, Zuoying. His old house, the central iron
shutter of which was always too stuck to pull down,
has become a pilgrimage site for lovers of literature
from all walks of life. In particular, he has a group of
followers in Kaohsiung (the members of the Literary
Taiwan Foundation) who have established a shrine to
him, honoring him as a Taiwanese literary lion.
By the time Yeh passed away, his old house in
Tainan was no more. His house in Zuoying was still
home to his family and thus could not be used for a
memorial. Eventually, the Tainan City Government

Yehs room is recreated on the second floor, with his bed and
desk from his home in Zuoying (lower photo by Kuo Han-chen),
a testament to his long writing career.

Yeh Shyr-tau Literary Memorial


The eternal sun of literature

Yeh Shih-tao (19252008), a seminal figure in Taiwan lit-
erature, had two homes of his own in his lifetime. He was
born in Tainan under Japanese rule in the Shirokane-ch,
the silver district, on what had been called Silversmiths
Street during the Qing era. Yeh was born with a silver
spoon in his mouth. His family was a rich clan, but they
were reduced to poverty in the late 1940s and early 1950s
when the land-to-the-tiller program took land from the
landowners to give to the common man. At the age of 27,
Yeh was arrested and finally sentenced to three years in
prison for joining a Marxist reading group, forcing him to
stop writing stories, for a time. At the age of 41 he moved

Old Residences, Precious Memories



56 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

The lotus pond close to Yehs home in Zuoying features
a plaque with one of his literary epigrams.

found an old building at No. 8-3, Youai Street. It desk, transported from Zuoying to decorate two
once housed the Tainan Forestry Office, the Japanese rooms, a literary study room and a reception room. In
colonial agency in charge of the cultivation and man- these rooms, it is as if we can see the writer, who lived
agement of forest products. Built in 1925, the year Yeh through the White Terror (19471987), pondering the
was born, the building is his contemporary, a testa- past and the future of Taiwanese literature.
ment to the era in which he grew up. It is the perfect The first floor exhibits Yehs manuscripts and major
place for a memorial to a major figure in the history of works. The most important part of the exhibit is Tain-
Taiwanese literature. ans Landscapesscenes mentioned in Yehs literary
On August 11, 2012, nearly four years after Yehs works. The curators invited scholars to compare the
death, the Tainan City Government renovated the For- places as they are described (and named) in Yehs fic-
estry Office building and renamed it the Yeh Shyr-tau tion with the places as they appear today. This juxta-
Literary Memorial Museum, a place to exhibit Yehs position of past and present defines reading routes
life, works and related literary relics. that have in recent years become popular literary trails
On the second floor of the hall are Yehs bed and in and around Tainan, Taiwans earliest capital.

Old Residences, Precious Memories




58 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

The Chung Li-ho Memorial Hall from the outside (facing page), near the Taiwan Literature Boulevard, where
the statue of Chung (above) and quotations from his writings evince his long literary afterlife.
(courtesy of Chung Li-ho Memorial Hall)

Chung Li-ho Memorial Hall

The writer in a pool of blood preserved with great care to reproduce a scene from his
Standing at the foot of Li shan, the hill behind the writing life half a century ago. Chung Shunwens grandfa-
Chung Li-ho Memorial Hall in Meinong, Kaohsiung City, ther kept writing his whole life long, but lacked many op-
Chung Li-hos granddaughter Chung Shunwen gazes at portunities to publish under Martial Law. It was not until
the verdant slopes of her homeland, feeling tranquil. he submitted his works to the literary supplement of the
This is the native land of her grandfather, Chung United Daily News that they were recognized and appre-
Li-ho (19151960). Her grandfather moved here at the age ciated by Lin Haiyin, the supplements chief editor. Only
of 18 from Daluguan (now Gaoshu Township) in Ping- then did he get the chance to realize his literary ambitions.
tung with his family. It was here that he began his literary However, Chungs friends in literary circles still had a
career. On August 4, 1960, he had a relapse of pulmonary rough time founding a memorial to Shunwens grandfa-
tuberculosis due to overwork. He died after coughing ther: as Taiwan was still under Martial Law, and Chung
blood at his desk, staining his clothes red, which earned was the first local writer to have a memorial dedicated to
him the distinctive epithet of the writer lying in a pool his memory, the project naturally attracted attention. In
of blood. 1976, Vista Publishing published The Complete Writings of
The desk is now on the first floor of the memorial Chung Li-ho, the first such collection of a writer in Taiwan,
hall. Chungs manuscripts and implements have been causing a great sensation.

Old Residences, Precious Memories

Chung Shunwen often
tells visitors about her
grandfathers life and
the story behind the
construction of the
memorial hall. (courtesy
of Chung Li-ho Memorial



An illustration depicting the asteroid named after Chung Li-ho.
(courtesy of Chung Li-ho Memorial Hall)



201620 l

60 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Chung Shunwen recalls that director Li Hsing later rearranged in 2013. Since then, Chungs manuscripts,
filmed a biopic entitled My Native Land (1980) about works, and items relating to Hakka culture (for Chung
her grandfather. Simple and touching, this film raised a was Hakka, and Meinong is a place where many Hakka
wave of interest in Chungs writings, which contributed people live) have been on display, with a wide array
to the idea for a memorial where people could go to of manuscripts and works by other writers in the col-
know more about his legendary life. lection. The foundation also holds a Li shan Literary
In June, 1979, six major literary figures, namely Camp every year to promote the creation and reading
Chung Chao-cheng, Yeh Shih-tao, Lin Haiyin, Cheng of literature. In 2016, the camp celebrated its twentieth
Ching-wen, Lee Chiao, and Chang Liang-tse, formulated anniversary.
a plan to build a Chung Li-ho Memorial Hall based on Chung Shunwen looks back upon Li shan as she
Chungs novel Lishan Farm. Many Meinong intellectuals thinks of her grandparents as well as her father, Chung
joined the project later on. Officially completed in 1986, Tieh-min, who passed away five years ago. Her closest
the Chung Li-ho Memorial Hall became the first literary family all lived for literature. In a way, they still do, im-
memorial in Taiwan funded by the private sector. mortalized in the land they loved. l
Wang Ya-shan, secretary of the Chung Li-ho Lit- (Kuo Han-chen/photos by Hsu Ching-ho/
erary Foundation, says that the exhibition space was tr. by Darryl Sterk)

Chung Tieh-min (19412011), himself a famous author, is pictured in the recreation of his fathers
study that is displayed on the first floor. (courtesy of Chung Li-ho Memorial Hall)


N B C1942


19 41



64 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02



3 0 0 0


66 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02


20 0



Taiwanese Business Heroes

in Southeast Asia
3 I n support of Taiwans long-standing trade focus
on Southeast Asia, recently reemphasized with
the New Southbound Policy, Taiwan Panoramas

Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese editions, which

began publication in December 2015, not only include
in-depth depictions of life and culture in Taiwan,
NGO but also of the Southeast Asian communities living
here, and the governmental and non-governmental
organizations that serve them. Our reporting encour-
ages cultural sharing and exchanges, helps South-

east-Asian nations better understand Taiwan, deep-

ens our mutually beneficial interactions, encourages

harmonious relations, and raises the profile of the

Republic of China on Taiwan.
In this feature, we profile the leaders of the Tai-
wanese chambers of commerce in Indonesia (Chou
Tsung-ho), Thailand (Liu Shu-tien) and Vietnam (Henry
Hsieh), all of whom have worked very hard to estab-
lish and grow their businesses in Southeast Asia. Their
companies histories, their personal entrepreneurial
experience, and their service and contributions to their
peers in the Taiwanese business community, make for
fascinating reading. All three men have helped spread
prosperity and build bridges of friendship between
Taiwan and the nations of Southeast Asia, where their
extensive and ongoing hard work has made them mod-
els of excellence for other Taiwanese.
(Tien Yun-liang/tr. by Scott Williams)

68 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02




Henry Hsieh, president of the Council of Taiwanese
Chambers of Commerce in Vietnam (CTCVN).
Liu Shu-tien, president of the ThaiTaiwan Business
Association (TTBA).
Chou Tsung-ho, Chairman of the Indonesia Taiwan
Chambers of Commerce (ITCC).




An Island Nations

Market Takes Off

Indonesia Taiwan Chambers of 1970
Commerce Chairman
Chou Tsung-ho


ITCC chairman Chou Tsung-ho, who has lived in Indonesia for

45 years, says there is significant domestic demand in Indonesia,
making it a great choice for Taiwanese companies looking to set
up new plants. 6.22.5

70 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

I ndonesia is geographically sprawling and blessed
with an abundance of people and resources, and
Taiwanese merchants have a long history with the
archipelago. Chou Tsung-ho, chairman of the Indone-
sia Taiwan Chambers of Commerce, has resided there
for 45 years, watching how this nation of islands
has developed a nascent middle class as its IT and
communications sector has grown and its invest-
ment prospects have improved year by year.

In mid-July 2016, the Asia Taiwanese Chambers of

Commerce held their four-day annual general meeting
in Taichung, attended by over 800 Taiwanese business-
people based in 13 countries, including Indonesia, Viet-
nam, Singapore, and the Philippines. Representatives to
Taiwan from the Philippines and Indonesia, as well as
the chairman of the Asia Taiwanese Chambers of Com-
merce, also took part. Many at the meeting expressed
their hopes that the Tsai administrations New South-
bound Policy would provide continued support to Tai-
wanese doing business in Southeast Asia and reduce the
investment risk they face.
With the global economy still in the doldrums, the ef-
forts of Taiwanese businesses abroad have been crucial to
providing a diverse range of development opportunities
for Taiwan in the global market. Chou Tsung-ho, chair-
The Tsai administrations New Southbound Policy is focused
man of the Indonesia Taiwan Chambers of Commerce on the steady economic growth of ASEAN member states. Chou
Tsung-ho hopes the administration will provide concrete support
(ITCC), remarks that Taiwanese doing business in South- for Taiwanese investment in Indonesia.
east Asia agree that the new administrations focus on
Taiwans southern neighbors is the right decision. were thus able to get their collective foot in the door of
Plenty of people, rich in resources a growing market.
Indonesia, comprised of over 17,000 islands, is the The members of the Association of Southeast Asian
largest country by area in Southeast Asia and is home to a Nations (ASEAN) have a total population of approx-
wealth of land and ocean resources. Since the 1970s, min- imately 620 million, with Indonesia accounting for
ing and agriculture have accounted for tremendous quan- nearly 250 million of that. This massive market is a big
tities of exports, including natural gas, petroleum, copper, part of why foreign investors are so interested in the
aluminum, and palm oil. While such products may have country. And within that population, about 7% are eth-
little in the way of added value, they have nonetheless nic Chinese, a not insignificant number of people.
earned Indonesia a significant amount of money. Indonesia is a great choice for Taiwanese busi-
Chou, who arrived in Indonesia 45 years ago, remem- nesses, because not only is there a sizable population
bers how hard life there could be in the past; though of potential consumers, they also dont discriminate
ordinary folk could barely afford shoes, they still needed against Chinese, says Chou. He goes on to explain that
lifes necessities, a demand Taiwanese businesses were investment opportunities there have been looking bet-
eager to satisfy. With the combination of a government ter and better by the year, especially as the economy has
that was opening up natural resources to foreign com- begun to really take off in recent years. Indonesia has
panies and the low cost of labor, these Taiwanese firms begun to gradually transition from a hub for production


In recent years the Indonesian government has worked to address
unfavorable conditions for foreign investment, making it quicker and
more convenient, thus helping to spur basic infrastructure development.

Economic ForumICT
7% 10%GDP1.21%


201115 2014
22 2

Information and
Communication Technologies, ICT


72 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Consumption and investment are the two primary drivers of Indonesias economic growth, with the
Jokowi administration actively working to improve basic infrastructure and develop maritime trade,
thus attracting growing foreign investment.

and export to a market with impressive potential domestic Chou Tsung-ho, who trades in secondhand cellphones
demand, and with its lower wage rates, it is an excellent in the province of Central Java, has had his cart hitched
option for Taiwanese businesses being driven away from to the ICT industry for some years now. Central Indo-
China by growing labor costs. nesia, he says, has a market bigger than he could have
Tech drives growth imagined, and even with the boom in competitors in the
In 2011, Indonesias then-president Susilo Bambang market since he first received his sales license, there still
Yudhoyono announced the Masterplan for Acceleration isnt enough supply to meet the massive demand.
and Expansion of Indonesias Economic Development Encouraging foreign investment
(Masterplan Percepatan dan Perluasan Pembangunan Eko- After Joko Widodo was elected to the presidency in
nomi Indonesia, or MP3EI), a blueprint for development by 2014, he began actively working to address the rich
2025 of 22 main economic activities in eight main programs poor divide in Indonesia and to raise the quality of so-
across primary and secondary industries. Among these cial and governmental services. He also set to work on
was one particular sector that attracted no small amount of creating a diverse, growing economy with notable ambi-
attention and anticipation from foreign businessesthe in- tion. In the two years since, his administration has done
formation and communication technologies (ICT) industry. a great deal to boost confidence at home and abroad,
Being comprised of five main islands and over 10,000 with the performance of the nations financial market
smaller ones, connecting the various parts of the Indo- in recent times attracting a noticeable influx of foreign
nesian archipelago is a challenge. As a result, there is a investment. Chou notes that the new administration
substantial demand for information and communication has paid a fair amount of attention to island-to-island
technologies, especially among the younger generations. shipping, with an estimated 3000-plus vessels of various
This has created a powerful drive and excellent conditions kinds expected to be built in the next year, providing a
for the ICT industry. substantial boost to both raw materials transportation
The cellphone industry in particular has enjoyed the and fisheries. This infrastructural help for the outlying
support and protection of state policy, with regulations in islands, combined with the development of the tele-
place requiring all 4G phones sold in Indonesia from 2017 communications system, has been a positive develop-
onward to be made with at least 40% locally produced ment for the national economy.
components. Driven by this, major ICT companies from Another important policy was enacted in 2016a tax
Taiwan (Asus), South Korea (Samsung), and mainland amnesty program which includes new tax incentives for
China (Lenovo) have set up plants in Indonesia, provid- companies to revalue their fixed assets, says Chou. In
ing a concrete boost to the nations economic growth. the past, the Indonesian government levied severe taxes





Indonesia was a focus of the World Economic Forum 2016,
a sign of the positive growth the nations economy is enjoying.

(Euromonitor International)2009

As the Indonesian middle class grows, so too does its spending
power. Here we see smiling children at Jakartas Istiqlal Mosque.

Muhammad Nasir2012


74 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

between 2009 and 2014 Indonesian families real dispos-
able income grew by 26%, with their savings rate grow-
ing from 2.6% in 2005 to 4.8% in 2016.
With its growing buying power, this rising middle
class has turned its attention to social and lifestyle
activities, with an increasing demand for quality and
international brands. This in turn has created powerful
new opportunities for international businesses and new
investments in education. At present, Jakarta and Sura-
baya have two schools that were originally exclusively
for the children of Taiwanese businesspeople, but have
now opened their doors to local ethnic Chinese as well.
Enrollments have grown year by year, a clear indication
of the growing interest in Chinese-medium education
among Indonesias Chinese community.
Language training is also crucial for management
staff at Southeast-Asian plants opened by Taiwanese
businesses, and to this end Taiwans government has
launched programs to support Taiwanese children with

Southeast-Asian immigrant parents to learn South-

east-Asian languages. Many parents have also begun
encouraging their children to study in Southeast-Asian

As Indonesias economy countries. The government is preparing to offer schol-
has enjoyed rapid growth arships to support the studies of over 100 Taiwanese in
in recent years, more and
more businesspeople ASEAN member states and help them to educate them-
are seeing the country
less as a base for cheap selves in Southeast-Asian languages and cultures. The
labor and more as a government is also working to encourage more people
domestic market with
tremendous potential and from Southeast Asia to come to Taiwan to study.
a growing base of high-
end consumers. Indonesias minister of research, technology and
higher education, Muhammad Nasir, has said that
since 2012, Indonesia has provided public funding for
doctoral students to study in four priority partner coun-
triesGermany, Austria, New Zealand, and Taiwan. On
top of that, each year the country selects several college
on changes in ownership of foreign-owned corporate as- instructors to travel to Taiwan for graduate or doctoral
sets, up to 30% on cash. To avoid these taxes, buyers and study. They also welcome Taiwanese students hoping to
sellers would frequently go through third-party payment study in Indonesia, as this is an important channel for
systems, and foreign investors would inject only limited educational exchange between the two countries.
capital. Since June 30, 2016, however, the new policy has Chou is fully behind the Tsai administrations south-
set out new mechanisms for tax declaration, and the tax- bound pivot, particularly as the masses of Taiwanese
ation system now offers more preferential conditions. businesspeople in Indonesia provide a form of commer-
A nascent middle class cial soft power for Taiwan in a country with which it
Savings rates in Indonesia have generally been the has no formal diplomatic ties, providing Taiwan with
lowest among Asian nations. With the recent economic another firm source of overseas economic support. l
growth, though, this has begun to change as a new mid- (Lee Hsiang-ting/photos by Jimmy Lin/
dle class rises. According to Euromonitor International, tr. by Geof Aberhart)




Fostering ThaiTaiwanese


ThaiTaiwan Business
Association President 9
Liu Shu-tien 3

TTBA president Liu Shu-tien is encouraging exchanges between
Taiwan and Thailand, and working to promote Taiwans New
Southbound Policy. (photo by Lin Min-hsuan)

76 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

L iu Shu-tien, president of the ThaiTaiwan Busi-
ness Association, built a business empire that
stretches from Taiwan to Indonesia and Thailand,
adds that the agreement will help Taiwanese businesses
quickly obtain information on trade and investment
opportunities, and gain footholds throughout ASEAN.
entirely from scratch. As the president of the TTBA, Liu has suggested that Taiwanese business associa-
Liu is now bringing Taiwanese businesses together tions work together to create a list of Taiwanese firms
and helping them with their own expansion plans. operating within the region, thereby making it easier
He is also serving as a bridge between Taiwan and for them to share their resources and develop new
Thailand, working to promote the ROC govern- businesses.
ments New Southbound Policy. He notes that Thailand is currently working on a
number of large infrastructure projects, including nine
In 2016, the ThaiTaiwan Business Association major roads, three pan-Asian railways, and a high-
(TTBA) and the ASEAN Trade Promotion Association speed rail system, the completion of which will further
(ATPA) signed an ASEANTaiwan memorandum of spur the countrys already huge domestic demand. Liu
understanding, under which the two sides agree to says that Thailands strong automotive industry also
cooperate to systematically promote trade and invest- offers nearly unlimited business opportunities.
ment between the business communities of ASEAN and Policy recommendations
Taiwan. TTBA president Liu Shu-tien explains that the Liu also recommends that the ROC government im-
agreement, which the TTBA entered into in support of plement visa waiver programs at an appropriate level
the governments New Southbound Policy, covers items to residents of some ASEAN countries, establish univer-
such as providing information on mutually beneficial sity-level language departments for ASEAN languages,
commercial investments, helping one another promote strengthen the cultivation of professionals in ASEAN-
outstanding up-and-coming businesses, and fostering related fields, and establish offices in each ASEAN na-
positive business sentiment in Taiwan and ASEAN. He tion with the express purpose of supporting the New

The ThaiTaiwan Business Association has inked an agreement with the ASEAN Trade Promotion Association which will foster trade
and investment between Taiwan and the ASEAN member states.









ThaiTaiwan Business
Association president
Liu Shu-tien (third from
left) is building for the
associations future by
passionately promoting the
work of its youth-oriented

78 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

(above) Liu Shu-tien founded Thai First Enamel to cultivate the Southeast Asian

(left) Liu Shu-tien believes in the importance of production-line management,
stressing discipline and efficiency.

Southbound Policy. Liu further envisions sending the school years, he had to walk an hour to and from his
directors of these offices into the field every three school bus stop, and also had chores at home and in the
months so they remain up to date on local conditions. fields. He moved to Taipei after completing his military
Liu bases some of his suggestions on how hes run service, and found work there as a salesman for a com-
his own company. He explains that when the company pany making stainless-steel cookware.
had a hard time finding workers in Thailand who spoke He recalls earning NT$50 for each delivery he made
both Thai and Mandarin, he sent employees to the Bang- from Ximending to Songshan in 1969, when a typical
kok airport to recruit technology workers who had just salary was just NT$1,000 per month. He put his all into
returned to Thailand from Taiwan, and it worked. He the job, which was his first. He became the companys
argues that the ROC government and Taiwanese busi- top salesperson in just three years and was then pro-
nesses should be making similar use of the hundreds of moted to manager. Liu says that he worked as if the
thousands of Thai technology workers returning home company were his own: while other employees marked
to Thailand every year. time for eight hours per day, he always sought to do
Liu argues further that the government should help more than merely eke out a living, and clocked as many
Taiwanese businesses evaluate investments by providing as 16 hours a day.
them with reports covering investment-related issues He went on to found his first company in 1975, in-
in ASEAN nations, such as the political and economic vesting NT$15,000 to start a venture that made stain-
environment, infrastructure, labor quality and costs, less-steel cookware.
and whether the countries provide tax breaks; it should Once Lius domestic sales began to show steady
offer larger incentives for Taiwanese firms to list on the growth, he began moving into overseas markets. He in-
Taiwanese stock market, including tax holidays and sub- vested in expanding the companys factory and buying
sidies to help cover consultation fees and other costs as- new equipment, and worked unceasingly to develop
sociated with preparing to list; and it should strengthen new products. The strategy worked: sales grew rapidly
communications and exchanges with the Taiwanese and the companys annual revenues reached NT$20
business community, especially in relation to taxes, envi- million. In 1981, Liu went on to start First Enamel In-
ronmental protection measures and security guarantees. dustrial Corporation. He expanded his factory again
Built from scratch three years later, while also purchasing a kiln from Eu-
Originally from Changhua County, Liu Shu-tien lost rope and automating his production equipment to im-
his father at an early age. His mother raised him to be prove product quality, develop his brand, and increase
honest and steadfast, which served him well when es- his overseas business.
tablishing his career in business. The Youth Career Development Association of the
But Lius childhood poverty created difficulties with ROC recognized him in 1985 by naming him a young
his education. During his elementary- and middle - model entrepreneur.


Giving back to society is
part of the ThaiTaiwan
Business Associations
mission. The group has
awarded scholarships
to students from
disadvantaged families for
15 consecutive years.

5,000 20162







80 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02


TTBA president Liu Shu-tien (second from
left) poses for a photo with representatives
from the ASEAN Trade Promotion
Association after signing the ASEAN
Liu Shu-tien puts quality first, and it has paid off. His products are popular with Taiwan memorandum of understanding.
consumers in the US and Europe.

Liu continued his expansion in 1986 by opening an ships to students from disadvantaged families. Last
enamel housewares factory in Indonesia the following year marked the 15th consecutive year it has done so.
year, but ultimately gave it up when profit margins TTBA also raised money for relief efforts when an
became too thin. His next move was to support his ef- earthquake struck southern Taiwan in February 2016.
forts in Southeast Asia by investing NT$150 million in Taiwanese in Thailand donated THB14.4 million in just
the establishment of a subsidiary, Thai First Enamel, in two weeks in a tangible show of support and affection
Thailand. for their homeland.
Passionate about helping Liu put years of hard work into building a successful
An active participant in organizations such as the business, but in recent years hes left the running of the
Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary company to professional managers and focused instead
Club, Liu has always made a point of giving back to on being the president of TTBA and a grandfather.
the community. He founded a hometown association Liu says hes adhered to one key principle through-
with that in mind. The groups objective is to connect out his many years in the volatile world of business:
Changhua natives living in Thailand with one another Be bold in your hypotheses, and cautious in your
to better enable them to support those in need. Liu has testing of them. He picked up the idea some 50 years
been working even harder for Taiwanese businesses, ago from Zheng Bingquan, then the principal of what
Taiwanese expatriates, and the neighborhoods in which is now National Cao tun Commercial and Industrial
they live and operate since becoming president of the Vocational Senior High School, and made it his guiding
ThaiTaiwan Business Association in May 2015. principle.
Liu says that the TTBA brings charities together Reflecting on his past, Liu says he is very grateful to
every year to provide scholarships to disadvantaged his wife for her sacrifices and assistance, which have
students in Northern Thailands Phetchabun Province. helped him over many hurdles.
In 2016, the program aided 156 students. Looking to the future, he says he aims to serve as a
When Phetchabun Province suffered severe flooding bridge, encouraging ThaiTaiwanese exchanges and
in 2002, Taiwanese businesspeople and their families working with the ROC government to promote its New
who were in Thailand at the time hurried to the area to Southbound Policy. l
offer monetary and material aid. The TTBA has visited (Peter Yen/photos courtesy of Liu Shu-tien/
the province in every year since to distribute scholar- tr. by Scott Williams)









Based in Vietnam

Expanding into Southeast Asia

Taiwanese Chambers of
Commerce President Henry Hsieh

Working in Vietnam for 20 years, Henry Hsieh has been president
of the Council of Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce in Vietnam

since the start of 2016. Meanwhile, he has been investing in a
new factory in Binh Duong Provinces My Phuoc Industrial Park.
(photo by Lin Min-hsuan)

82 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Innovations to factory operations continue apace. Hsieh
has been constantly updating equipment and pushing
modernization to increase competitiveness.

O ctober of 2016 marked the 20th year anniver-

sary of Henry Hsiehs investment in Vietnam.
Now aged 53, he is in high spirts and reaching new
tor as well, as the national dealer for Taiwans Luxgen
Motors. It has 2200 people on its payroll.
Looking back, Hsieh says moving into the Vietnam-
peaks in his career. At the beginning of 2016, he took ese market has turned out to be a great stroke of luck.
over as president of the Council of Taiwanese Cham- Chin Li Plastic was established in 1990 in Chang
bers of Commerce in Vietnam, immediately taking hua, where it made mostly plastic products such as EVA
up responsibility for serving Taiwanese-owned foam, carpet mats, and shoe outsoles and midsoles.
businesses in Vietnam. Near the end of July 2016, With the labor shortage in Taiwan growing increasingly
work began on his Chin Li Plastic Industrials third acute, they originally proposed to establish factories in
factory. When completed, the plant in Binh Duong mainland China, but unfortunately in 1993 and 1994
Provinces My Phuoc Industrial Park will become several of the companys customers reneged on their
Vietnams first plant powered by green energy. When debts: They went to the mainland, without paying off
it comes to investing in Vietnam, Hsieh has a match- their debts in Taiwan, Hsieh says with a sigh, so that
less perspective and understanding. we had no money to invest in the mainland.
In 1995 a leading footwear manufacturer, Pou Chen,
My way of thinking is a bit different, says Hsieh, moved into Vietnam. As a footwear industry supplier,
who has lived in Vietnam for 20 years and is still in- Hsieh visited Vietnam the following year and made the
creasing his investments there. Factories get outdated. decision to move as well.
Youve got to constantly establish new factories, update At first my wife objected to me going, Hsieh says,
machinery, and increase your competitiveness. but as the best English speaker in the family, he had
Looking back to bite the bullet to go to Vietnam for talks with Nike,
After war and a period of minimal contact with the Adidas, Puma and other brands about how to obtain
outside world, Vietnam began to attract investment needed certifications and how to establish various pro-
in 1996 with the enactment of a law on inward invest- duction processes.
ment. During that year Hsieh visited the country and The hard work paid off. In 1999 the original factory
decided to put down roots. began to turn a profit, and Hsieh began to think about
Over the course of 20 years of hard work, Hsieh has expansion.
continually expanded his ambitions: Chin Li Plastic first Multifaceted operations
built a plant in Binh Duong and then a second one in Apart from producing EVA foam, midsoles and rub-
Long An, and it has moved into another industrial sec- ber, and operating injection plants, Hsieh expanded



2005 Chin Li Plastic Industrial is based in Binh Duong Provinces Viet
Huong Industrial Park. About 90% of neighboring factories are
40 run by Taiwanese firms.


55,00025,000 14

L u x g e n2011





84 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

into the buying and selling of cars. When he imported The more things change
a car from the United States for his own use in 2005, he As he has expanded business operations, Hsieh has
discovered that it cost him 40% less than the local mar- also been building up experience and contacts within the
ket price. That prompted him to consider going into the Taiwanese business community. This year is his first as
auto import business. president of the Council of Taiwanese Chambers of Com-
At first he imported cars from mainland China, but merce in Vietnam, and he is throwing himself into public
Chinese cars werent easy to sell in Vietnam. The Viet- service.
namese market for vehicles is Mshaped. People with I dont want anything in return for serving as presi-
money want highend cars, and those with little money dent, he says. I just want to create a good image for Tai-
want cheap vehicles. There was no market for the mid wanese businesses in Vietnam. In Hsiehs view, Vietnams
level vehicles I was importing. That led him to try im- progress owes a lot to four nations: Taiwan (industry), Ja-
porting secondhand American cars. But the opportunity pan (public infrastructure), Korea (highrise construction)
was shortlived: The financial crisis of 2008 led to the and Singapore (land development). Yet, truly the biggest
devaluation of the Vietnamese dong, and the following contribution has been from Taiwanese businesses, by pro-
year the Vietnamese government stipulated that import- viding employment opportunities and raising incomes.
ers not authorized by vehicle manufacturers could not There are a total of 14 local Taiwanese chambers of
sell automobiles. commerce in Vietnam, in locations such as Hanoi, Bac
Consequently, in 2010 Hsieh formally became the Viet- Ninh, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang. Hsiehs own
nam dealer for Luxgen Motors, with four locations in the branch in Binh Duong is the largest, with nearly 1000
north and the south. In 2011 I was still making money, registered members and more than 2000 all told. The Tai-
but the import tax was raised the following year, making wanese businesses there employ at least 700,000800,000
Luxgen cars roughly the same price as BMWs and Mer- people. It has been called the worlds largest branch of a
cedes imported from the US. We lost all competitiveness Taiwanese chamber of commerce.
and could only sell to expat Taiwanese businessmen. Hsieh notes that there are about 5400 Taiwanese
In 2015 Hsieh closed three locations, leaving only the owned firms in Vietnam, 75% of which are in the south.
dealership in Binh Duong Province. He wants to con- Whats more, half of those southern companies are in
tinue serving customers who have purchased cars from Binhn Duong. Taiwanese have invested in all manner of
him, but his experiences have prompted him to change manufacturing industries. Clothing is king, followed by
his approach, and now he is preparing to import Mer- electronics, footwear, furniture, bicycles and so forth.
cedes vehicles from the United States. Over two decades, the investment environment in

The Council of Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce in Vietnam has been bolstering educational cooperation between the two
nations in recent years. For instance, industry and academia have been working together to bring students from one country to the
other on study-abroad programs, the ROC Ministry of Education has held educational fairs in Vietnam, and an internship program
has been bringing second-generation Vietnamese immigrants in Taiwan to work at Taiwanese-owned factories in Vietnam.


A successful businessman, Hsieh came back to Taiwan in July 2016, bringing his outstanding Vietnamese
employees on a tour of the island, which gave them a deeper understanding of Taiwanese culture.



2014513 9,30029

51323 15
7 2
18513 52018

86 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Building bridges
In the middle of July 2015 Hsieh returned to Taiwan
for an Asia Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce General
Committee meeting. He brought 18 workers who had
helped protect factories during antiChinese riots in
May of 2014 to tour Taiwan. They visited Taipei 101,
Tamsui, Hualien, Taitung and finally Kaohsiung, giving
them a good feel for the beauty of the island.
He explains that in the past Taiwan factories would
use mainland Chinese managers, and the Vietnamese
workers felt that their voices were being suppressed.
Sooner or later, frustrations were going to come to a
boil. Large numbers of Vietnamese women have mi-
grated to Taiwan through marriage in recent decades,
and their children now comprise a second generation

that can work for Taiwanese firms in Vietnam as bridges

of communication. Consequently, Taiwanese factories in
Chin Li Plastic Industrial produces shoe insoles and midsoles,
floor mats, and other plastic items. It employs more than 2000
Vietnam are running more and more smoothly.
workers. This year Hsieh has begun to invest in industry
academia cooperation. On the one hand, the investment
Vietnam has changed dramatically in some ways, and has been aimed at supporting Taiwanese students to go
in other ways not at all. to Vietnam on internships, and on the other hand it is
The biggest change is that basic wages have soared. bringing students from Wenzao Ursuline University of
Hsieh points out that 20 years ago, when he had just Languages to Vietnam to teach factory workers Chinese.
come to invest, the basic monthly wage was only He is also working with the New Taipei City Education
VND480,000. By now it has risen to VND3.5 million Bureau to advance its Grandmother s Bridge pro-
(about NT$5000). Thats seven times what it was. gram, which aims to send the children of Vietnamese
The Vietnamese government hopes that the types of mothers in Taiwan back to Vietnam to visit their grand-
incoming firms will change: Theyre welcoming tech, parents. The program likewise aims at building bridges
education and services, and discouraging highly pol- of communication.
luting industries, says Hsieh. Vietnam has a population of 93 million, and the av-
But in some respects, it seems as if 20 years ago was erage age is only 29, so labor resources are abundant.
just yesterday: Many transportation infrastructure proj- The demographic dividend still has 15 more years to
ects, for instance, are still experiencing long delays. run strong, he argues, stressing the importance of tak-
Long and narrow in shape, Vietnam still lacks a ing advantage of the opportunity it presents.
highway running the length of the country. Five years Of course, spreading risk is also very important. In
ago, mass rapid transit projects were launched in Ha- 2010 Hsieh brought two of his top executives to Indo-
noi and Ho Chi Minh City, but progress has been slow: nesia to establish factories. In addition, he has visited
Its expected to take another two years before they Myanmar five times and is planning on opening a fac-
start to operate. tory there in 2018.
Vietnam has also long been a rule of man society. Having successfully established businesses in Viet-
Connections are key for getting things done locally, nam, and now spreading his investments elsewhere in
says Hsieh. With connections, you can do anything. Southeast Asia, Henry Hsiehs unique experiences are
Whether operating a Taiwaneseowned business or well worth studying and reflecting on. l
handling the affairs of the chamber, building good con- (Chang Chiung-fang/photos courtesy of Henry Hsieh/
nections is important. tr. by Jonathan Barnard)


localg lobal

Trending Taiwan
The Nations Stories on Film


Launched by the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, the 2016 Trending Taiwan Short
Film Competition is in its second year,
with 152 entries capturing diverse
glimpses of trending Taiwan.


Trending Taiwan

YouTubeTrending Taiwan

88 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Chang Kuoboug, director general of
MOFAs Department of International
Information Services, thanks all the
participants whose short films have
captured the impressive beauty of Taiwan
and its people to share around the globe.

W hats your greatest impression of Taiwan?

A number of aspiring local and foreign film-
makers traveled across Taiwan to make three-minute
Chang Kuo boug, director general of MOFAs
Department of International Information Services,
thanked all participants whose short films capture the
films catching the beauty of Taiwan through the lens. impressive beauty of Taiwan and its people, sharing
scenes of Taiwan life with people around the globe.
Launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), The judging panel included Mike Kwan, associate
the Trending Taiwan Short Film Competition is in its sec- professor in the Department of Radio, Television and
ond year. There were more entries in 2016 compared to Film at Shih Hsin University, Mika Tanaka, writer of
2015: in fact, 152 films were entered in only one month, Wansei Back Home, and travel author Ma Chi Kang. The
capturing diverse glimpses of trending Taiwan. winner of the first prize in the contest was Dream Bus
In response to the rise of social media, MOFA set up Fengyuan Public Bus 6506. The second prize was shared
a Trending Taiwan channel on YouTube in July 2015 for by The Pride of Taiwan and Svongvong (crow butterflies
the first Trending Taiwan competition, and the number in the language of the Rukai indigenous people). The
of films entered for 2016 has doubled. third prize was shared by three films: Years of Quick

tFirst prize
uSecond prizes

Svongvong 6506


First-prize winner Dream BusFengyuan Public Bus 6506 (images

courtesy of Zach Chung-yen Hsu) records the daily routine of the
152 bus that travels between Fengyuan in Taichung and Mt. Hehuan
in Nantou. The entries which shared second prize, Svongvong
(images courtesy of Zhang Weicun) and The Pride of Taiwan (image
Cheers courtesy of Stone), both display Taiwans diverse local features.



3 Brian Lisco


90 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Deliveries, Sixiangqi (Thoughts Arising), and The Sha its first stop in Puli, Nantou County to the terminal at
man. Six further films gained honorable mentions. Mt. Hehuan. Xu used a camera drone to capture some
Diverse works of the stunning beauty of Mt. Hehuan, but the central
Jane Liu, president of Cheers Magazine, speaking on theme of the work was to convey the warmth and
behalf of the judging panel, said that the settings of the hospitality of the people on this island.
selected short films range across Taiwan to places as far Jiang Huanmin, producer of Years of Quick Deliver
south as Hengchun Township in Pingtung County and ies, also chose a theme from his own familiar environ-
as far north as Bei tou in Tai pei City. One filmmaker ment, recording the story of Zhang Luo xing, one of
even ventured onto Mt. Hehuan, a 3422-meter peak in the distinctive motorbike taxi and delivery riders who
central Taiwan. Watching the films was like taking a ply the streets of Taipei Citys Beitou District.
long bus ride around the country, said Liu. Marketing Taiwan through film
Compared with the previous year, themes were Works from the 2016 competition are not only more
more distinct and diverse in 2016. The main focus in diverse and balanced in theme, but perhaps more
2015 was on night markets and traditional folk arts, importantly tend to express more of an international
and while there was no lack of similar themes in 2016, perspective.
participants tended to explore a more diverse range A number of winning films, such as Yao sheng
of subjects. For example, third-prize winner Sixiangqi and Traditional Chinese Script in Taiwan, express the
looks at the efforts of local residents in Hengchun to thought that the more you are able to preserve local
preserve their traditional folk music. And the pro- character, the more attractive will be your society to
ducer of Traditional Chinese Script in Taiwan, Lai Kaiwei, tourists and foreign travelers. Both these films spot-
visited Hualien to record the story of 80-year-old Lai light efforts to preserve the traditional skills and cul-
Zhongyi, who runs a pen store and is endeavoring to ture of Taiwan, some of which, sadly, are gradually
preserve the traditional script. disappearing. At the same time, there were a number
In addition to displaying the diversity of Taiwan, of foreign entries in the 2016 contest. The producer
touching stories about the nations people featured in a of The Shaman, which records the indigenous shaman
number of the works selected. tradition in Tuban Village in Taitung Countys Daren
First-prize winner Dream BusFeng yuan Public Township, is Malaysian-born Wu Jinghan. And Foresee
Bus 6506 is an example. Director and producer Zack Taiwan features Brian Lisco, who is a teacher in Tainan
Chung-yen Hsu discovered a bus route which can boast but is originally from Texas.
the highest altitude and longest travel time of any bus in Trending Taiwan tells the stories of our beautiful
Southeast Asia. Hsu and his three partners spent nearly country through the medium of film. Your story is
a month researching and shooting the bus as it traveled also the story of Taiwan! l
along its unique route. Hsu did the final editing himself. (Liu Yingfeng/photos by Jimmy Lin/
The three-minute film records the bus traveling from tr. by Geoff Hegarty and Sophia Chen)


Old Meets New in the Harbor City

92 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Nestled between the sea and the mountains, the port city
of Keelung is a fascinating mlange of old and new. The
drawing above is of the Japanese-era Keelung Station,
which opened in 1908. (photo by Chuang Kung-ju)


Keelung mayor Lin Yu-chang (center) stands before a relief
map of the city, enthusiastically discussing the Greater Keelung
Historical Scenes Restoration Project with Peng Chun-heng (right),
director of the citys Cultural Affairs Bureau. The project is intended
to revive Keelungs past glories. (photo by Chuang Kung-ju)

A map of old Taiwan in Keelungs old railway station lists
important place names, mountains and rivers, providing a record
of Taiwan at an earlier age. (photo by Chuang Kung-ju)


94 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Life teems under the bright lights at the
Kanzaiding Fish Market, located near
the harbor.

F locks of seagulls pass overhead. Mammoth freighters crowd the harbor,

each disgorging brightly colored shipping containers that are piled up like
the building-block castles of a childs delight. Cruise ships also gather here,
resembling magnificent sea palaces. Visitors gaze out over this extraordinary
city, where the sea skirts the mountains, old houses line mountain ridges,
and rich colors mingle with simple architecture. All this gives one the slight
sensation of being in Barcelona. But on a mountaintop ahead, an illuminated
sign flickers through the dense mists with a single wordKEELUNG.
This is Keelung. Set out in on a lovely morning, but be sure to book a one-
way passage, for Keelung is suited not just for a visit but also for dropping
anchor for a lifetime.

A century of historyan old harbor and a new city wind and water. Keelungs economy was built upon the
Over the past century, Keelung has become the most wages of its countless longshoremen: its transportation
important port city in northern Taiwan. To the north sits system, its eateries and teahouses, as well as Zhengbin
the East China Sea, and mountains surround the city on Fishing Harbor and the Kanzaiding Fish Market, which
three sides of the natural harbor. Trade and tourism flour- echoes to the cries of fishmongers hawking their wares.
ish in this shining pearl of the north. With the expan- Nationalist soldiers retreating from mainland China,
sion of the harbor during the reign of the Qing emperor clans of Hakka, Aborigines, and migrants from other
Guangxu, Keelung became Taiwans leading commercial parts of Taiwan all arrived here and sought their for-
port. The city thrives on all sorts of commerce born of the tunes through hard work. They believed that fortune



Keelung is northern Taiwans most important port city. Facing the
East China Sea and surrounded on three sides by mountains,
it is a rich coastal center where both trade and tourism flourish.
Pictured above is Zhengbin Fishing Harbor; below, the Yang Ming
Oceanic Culture and Art Museum, located beside Keelung Harbor.

96 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

spark a discussion on the construction and reconstruc-
tion of the national memory and let people rediscover
Keelungfor the history of the port has always been
the foundation for the citys development.
A plan to restore Greater Keelungs historical sites
beckoned in this place where the waters run east, and is currently serving as a model for the Ministry of Cul-
that this was a land of riches. Yet, it was not so much the tures national historical preservation project. Preserving
riches of the sea as the dreams of all those who toiled to cultural heritage lies at the heart of the program, which
establish the foundation of prosperity and the splendid will be carried out according to the concept of spatial
years that followed. management focusing on specific historical points and
This dazzling island gem at times seems like an eye expanding outward. The plan aims to reconnect re-
gazing out over the ocean, which has beamed happily or stored areas and their history with the local population.
shed tears depending on the fortunes of the port. With the Through the integration of national and local spatial de-
development of Taiwans other ports, shipping in Keelung velopment plans, the government hopes to link specific
began to decline. Coupled with the depletion of offshore historical and cultural sites together. And by coordinat-
fish stocks and the decline of mining, the citys popula- ing the efforts of various ministries and departments, it
tion began to dwindle. Only by making good use of the hopes to achieve comprehensive preservation.
diversity of its natural landscape can Keelung reverse the Historical scenes can be reconstructed through this
decline and surpass the prosperity of the last century. Giv- meaningful linkage between historical sites and can
ing the city new life, successfully restoring the reputation help tell the story of the past without having to adhere
of the old harbor, and creating a new city to marvel at are to a single timeline. This open historical perspective
today some of the city governments greatest challenges. will encourage participation from the public and stir the
Reclaiming local history imagination while establishing local identity and emo-
The Spanish, Portuguese, British, French, and Japanese tional connection to the past. The Greater Keelung plan,
have all dropped anchor in Keelungs harbor at one time in other words, is aiming for the comprehensive consol-
or another. Outside the mayors office hangs a giant aerial idation of history and culture on a city-wide basis, and
map of the city dating from the Japanese colonial period. not simply the patching up of old buildings. It will cre-
The raised features of the city allow one to trace with a ate a platform for a dialogue between time and place.
finger the outline of Shawan Creek and see in the distance In this way, people can enter history and experience the
Heping Island. Farther afield, one finds Ershawan Bat- life and setting of a past age, and from the starting point
tery and the remains of the old stone wall of Dashawan. of history walk toward the future.
Swept along by the wind and waves, the old citys distant History brought to life
past unfurls before one. Since the plan is to restore historical settings, one
The defining characteristic of Keelungs history is the must start out from historical documents. Keelungs his-
port, and the port is the starting point for venturing into tory stretches far back in time, and from ancient maps,
the world, says Lin Yu-chang, the mayor of Keelung, Keelung can be seen through the eyes of the Spanish,
smiling. Wearing wire-framed glasses and a pink shirt Japanese, French and Dutch. All entered through the
and looking youthful and refined, Lin listens intently and great harbor, and so it is at Dashawan, the bay at the
thoughtfully, sometimes pursing his lips. But mention his mouth of the harbor, that the plan commences. The bay
beloved Keelung, and his eyes light up, his voice becomes was the site of Keelungs first settlements and was once
more confident. For the 130th anniversary of the found- the areas only saltwater bathing spot. Today, it is also
ing of Keelung Harbor, we arranged a variety of activities. one of the few sites in Taiwan containing numerous in-
For example, we held an exhibition featuring postcard tact historical remnants from the Qing Dynasty, includ-
images of the Eight Views of Taiwan from the era of Japa- ing the SinoFrench War Memorial Park, the remains
nese rule, and old maps of the island. Our hope was that of the old defensive wall at Dashawan, and the former
by displaying these historical representations we would officers quarters of the Keelung Fort Command, among




98 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

others. Mt. Xuqiu, above the bay, was chosen as one of
the Eight Views of Taiwan under Japanese rule. And
there are reminders of events from a later date, such as
the deadly 1949 sinking of the steamer Taiping, which is
commemorated at the Taiping Incident Memorial Park.
The Keelung City Government is attempting to inte-
grate these various historical sites into a narrative space
and to create a dual historical axis between Ershawan
and Mt. Xuqiu, driving the development of three his-
toric sitesDashawan, Heping Island, and Baimiweng
Fortand by doing so, create a more complete histori-
cal record. Aside from helping to reexamine the past, it
can create a dialog with todays residents.
Lin Yu-chang gingerly and respectfully takes out an
old copy of an even older map, and with the map as a
guide, we seek out Keelungs past. He explains that be-
cause of the Keelung Campaign of the SinoFrench War,

(above) The restoration plan for Greater Keelung is aiming for

the comprehensive consolidation of history and culture. It is also
intended to facilitate a dialogue between time and place, and
allow people to experience contemporary life with a historical
perspective and create a bridge between the past and the future.
Pictured here is Baimiweng Fort.

Proper spatial management will help create a more complete

historical record. Aside from helping to reexamine the past, it
can create a dialog with todays residents. Pictured here are the
old shipyard (below), remains of the old stone wall at Dashawan
(right, courtesy of Keelung Cultural Affairs Bureau) and the old
command post on Mt. Xuqiu (below right, courtesy of Keelung
Cultural Affairs Bureau).



100 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

The magnificent beauty of otherworldly rock formations,
resulting from years of erosion along Keelungs coastline,
has created some of northern Taiwans most treasured
sights. The photo shows Heping Island.

tory is very long, stretching from the arrival of Spanish

and Dutch colonizers up to the present. As a result,
Keelungs development has always been linked to the
outside world. At present, the city government is en-
deavoring to revive a sense of historical space not just
by restoring scattered historical sites but more impor-
tantly by reestablishing a sense of local identity and
pride. For only through the citizens passion and shared
sense of purpose can we achieve a better understanding
of how to cherish this land.
Peng hopes that one day Kee lung will become a
cultural capital and a city of artists, with the whole city
serving as an art gallery. He hopes that Keelung will
become a giant performance space with each resident
playing a leading role. And so aside from the city gov-
ernments plans, success will rely on the efforts of the
entire community.
According to Mayor Lin Yu-chang, the port remains
central to these efforts. Only if the port thrives will the
rest of the city thrive, he says. And only by compre-
Keelung is home to the French Military Cemetery and hensive development for the whole city will we be able
the National Heroes Cemetery, and every year during to transform the port.
the Ghost Festival the city sends representatives to pay Integrating the port with the city and pursuing urban
respects and comfort the souls of the dead of different renewal in the areas around the old train station are all in-
nations who lived and struggled in Keelung. During the tended to restore the luster of this island pearl. Lin hopes
Vietnam War, Keelung was even the base of the US Sev- that both urban integration and historic preservation
enth Fleet, and for a time the Stars and Stripes flew and efforts will elicit citizens participation. He hopes too that
Americans filled the streets. local history will be incorporated into elementary school
Naturally, connecting with these remote memories still curricula, so that from a young age children will know
relies on the help of modern technology. The city govern- that the city is their home and that it belongs to them.
ment plans to use virtual reality, augmented reality, and After 130 years of twists and turns, Keelung has at last
other technologies to close the gap between the cultural turned its attention from just the sea and is taking a hard
legacies of the past and the present day. On any given look at itself, because only by thoroughly understanding
site, historical maps showing scenes from different time its own story can it have the fortitude and courage to
periods will display the historical characteristics of past march into the present. The current preservation plan
ages. Through virtual reality, the city government hopes represents a new departure. Amid bright sunshine and
for a more complete presentation of our cultural heritage. the blue ocean, the people wave goodbye to past sorrows.
Cultural capital, city of arts Keelung is setting sail again, on course for the future. l
Peng Chun-heng, the director of Keelungs Cultural (Lin Nianci/photos by Jimmy Lin/
Affairs Bureau, explains that the span of Keelungs his- tr. by Paul Cavey)


David Charles Oakley

Shines a Light on Kaohsiungs Past

M any a visitor to Kaohsiung over the years will have been attracted to a
Western-style red brick building that sits atop Shaochuantou Hill over-
looking Kaohsiung First Harbor. The first consular residence in Taiwan to be
designed and built by the British Armys Royal Engineers, it has stood witness
to the development of Kaohsiung Harbor, but much of the history that unfolded
there more than a century ago disappeared into oblivion as creeping vegetation
and shadows encroached upon the site over the years.


Pictured here is an 1877 surveyors plan of the site of

the British consulate at Takow, which shows an empty
plot and an old cemetery at the top of Shaochuantou Hill.
(courtesy of Kaohsiung Bureau of Cultural Affairs)
O a k l e y

The Story of the British Consulate at Takow,
FormosaDavid Charles Oakley
27 The Story of
the Takow Foreign Cemetery




:It must be
for a reason.David
1879 3

104 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

In November 2013, the Kao hsiung City Bureau of
Cultural Affairs published The Story of the British Consul-
The British consular residence at Takow, located atop a hill near
Hamaxing, as it appears today (above) and in an earlier time ate at Takow, Formosa by David Charles Oakley, a British
(facing page). (courtesy of Kaohsiung Bureau of Cultural Affairs) man who came to Kaohsiung 27 years ago, became fas
cinated with the mountain and coastal scenery around
Qihou and Shaochuantou, and decided in less than a
month to settle there for good. He later discovered the

British-colonial-style building on Shao chuan tou Hill

and became curious about it. Digging into its history, he

Lin Shang-ying, deputy director-general of Kaohsiungs Bureau eventually discovered that it was not the former British
of Cultural Affairs, feels that David Charles Oakleys two books
on Kaohsiung provide precious information on the citys past. consulate, as was generally believed, but actually the
consular residence.
Setting the story straight
When you walk along Shaochuan Street in modern-
day Gushan District and head toward Xiziwan Bay, look
to the right and youll see the former Takao Prefecture
Fisheries Experiment Station from the Japanese colonial
period. What we now know, however, is that the Fish
eries Experiment Station was originally the British con
sular office. And we know this thanks to the assiduous
sleuthing of David Charles Oakley, who wrote a book
about the shifting fortunes of the building since it was
completed in 1879.


The clean, simple lines of this arched
portico at the consular residence
exude a 19th-century British charm.






106 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Oakley was a stickler for logical analysis and rea
soning. In order to clear up widespread misconcep
tions about the history and age of the British consular
compound at Shao chuan tou (including the consular
residence and the consular offices, and the location of a
cemetery for foreigners), Oakley went to great pains over
a period of many years to gather all the information he
could find regarding the site. The sources of his copious
information included government archives in Britain, the
descendants of historical figures, and numerous libraries
and private collections in Taiwan and around the world.
He then delved into the material with his usual objective
rigor and came up with reasonable interpretations of
people, incidents, and systems from a century earlier.
In researching the British consulate, Oakley unexpect
edly found a cemetery for foreigners connected with the
consulate. He learned that 39 men, women, and children
were buried there, and although their remains were
probably still there, only three gravestones could be

found. After finishing The Story of the British Consulate at

David Charles Oakleys widow, Sarah Kung, completed his Takow, Oakley started writing a second book, The Story
second book and got it published, thus ensuring that his
valuable work would see the light of day. of the Takow Foreign Cemetery, to record the stories of the
people buried there. Unfortunately, however, Oakley
died of an illness in early 2016.
Seeing the book to completion
According to Oakleys widow, Sarah Kung: If every
person has a mission, then David considered finishing

this book his.

Customs employees, the wife of the acting consul, and The main point of the book is to ask who those peo
a Presbyterian minister are known to be buried in the
cemetery at the British consular compound. This may also ple were, says Kung, who adds that her husband used
be the final resting place of seafarers as well as engineers to do online research constantly. Once, someone in Can
from various countries who worked in Taiwan, but the
headstones are too deteriorated to know for sure. ada who knew a person buried in the cemetery learned




108 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

(facing page) This watercolor

image of the British Consulate
at Takow, though made recently,
nevertheless achieves a retro
look that evokes the history of
the place. (courtesy of Kaohsiung
Bureau of Cultural Affairs)


Lifelike waxworks and artifacts

at the former British consular
compound take visitors back to
the Shaochuantou of 1879.

of Oakleys work and contacted him to provide all 20-plus years of field surveys, academic research, and
sorts of information. Oakley also learned from British correspondence with family members of the deceased.
government archives that customs employees, the wife After Oakley passed away, Kung in her mourning de
of the acting consul, and a Presbyterian minister are cided to organize her husbands research materials and
among those buried in the cemetery, and not everyone get them stored properly away. But as she read through
is British; also buried there are people from Germany, the unfinished book, she discovered a fascination of her
Switzerland, and elsewhere, because the cemetery was own with the matters set out therein. So I decided to
open to anyone regardless of ethnicity or religion. It is finish the book for him.
also thought that many of the people there had been Telling the history of Takow
ship crew or engineers who worked in Taiwan. According to Lin Shang-ying, deputy director-general
Oakley felt bad that those people had died far from of the Kaohsiung Bureau of Cultural Affairs, Oakley pro
their homelands, and was puzzled as to why their vides an extremely detailed account of how the Takow
remains were not taken back home. Whats more, the Foreign Cemetery has changed over the past century, and
cemetery was not well maintained, and had very nearly incorporates his research results as well as information
disappeared entirely. He felt that the people buried at provided by the friends and relatives of the deceased to
Takow Foreign Cemetery should not be forgotten; on recreate their lives in vivid detail. To get at the facts, he
the contrary, they should be memorialized, because had to ignore taboos and mistaken ideas that local resi
they had made important contributions to Taiwan in dents held regarding the cemetery. All whove read this
different fields. posthumous work have found it very moving.
Kung recalls that her husband would often ride his Lin notes that when the Bureau of Cultural Affairs
bicycle to interview people throughout the local area. learned in 2003 that there was a foreign cemetery at the
With his classic British scholars personalitybrimming British consulate and that three headstones were still
with curiosity, concerned about logical analysis and standing, it considered how to handle the matter, but a
reasoningOakley took an avid interest in the history decision couldnt be made quickly because the history
and culture of Taiwan. His book is the crystallization of of the cemetery was so unfamiliar, the information was


Rev. Hugh Ritchie
Club Website 1883George Carter Stent
The Swinhoe FilesThe John W. Harwood
Shaochuantou FilesThe British Mary D.
Consuls in South Formosa WarrenWilliam Hopkins
The Takow Foreign Cemetery
Hirohito Comes to Takao (Lt. Cmdr. Alexander S. Mackenzie, Jr.)


110 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

The British Consulate at Takow lies half-hidden near
a hiking trail amid thick vegetation, and offers a
commanding view of the Asian New Bay.

University of Arts wrote in his preface for The Story of

the British Consulate at Takow: In addition to its pains
taking historical research, another important part of
the book is the personal correspondence between the
author and people connected in some way or other with
the consulate. This book clears up numerous historical
facts, and provides many valuable images and photo
graphs of people. For any student of relations between
Taiwan and Britain a century ago, this is a very import
ant work. Ang Kaim, an associate research fellow at
the Academia Sinicas Institute of Taiwan History, also
has glowing praise for Oakleys academic rigor: The
author tells his readers about the diplomatic and busi
ness-world struggles and skullduggery that unfolded at
the consulate in a time gone by, and provides fascinat
ing historical vignettes from the community of foreign
ers in Takow. Its a great read.
Chang Shou-chen, a former professor at the Wenzao
Ursuline University of Languages who helped translate
The Story of the Takow Foreign Cemetery into Chinese, ad
mires Oakleys passion for life and the way he plunged
into research on local history after settling in Kao
so difficult to find, and there were so many factors hsiung, especially his focus on the foreign communities
involved, such as the different nationalities of the de that sprang up in Tainan and Takow (Kaohsiung) after
ceased, the difficulty of contacting their family mem the Qing-Dynasty rulers in Beijing were forced to open
bers, whether bones remained beneath the headstones, several ports, including some in Taiwan, to foreign in
whether family members would agree to let graves be terests after the signing of the Treaty of Tientsin in 1858.
moved, where they should be moved to, and so on. Chang says that The Story of the Takow Foreign Cem-
We refurbished the British consulate and put re etery is packed with interesting content. Particularly
cords and historical artifacts on display there, says Lin. noteworthy is Oakleys recounting of the life stories of
It was not possible to resolve the matter of the cemetery foreigners who died in southern Taiwan and came to be
in a short period of time, but the Bureau of Cultural buried at the Takow Foreign Cemetery.
Affairs spent a lot of time and effort to publish Oak Oakley left behind a rich body of historical materials
leys two books, partly to record Kaohsiungs past, and and anecdotes pertaining to foreigners in Taiwan. His
partly to thank the foreigners buried in the cemetery for position as a native speaker of English was an advan
all they did for Taiwan. tage, and the quality of his work was further boosted by
Academic rigor his rigorous approach to historical research, his strong
Professor Lee Chien-lang of the Graduate School of affection for Kaohsiung, and his zest for field work. l
Art Management & Culture Policy at National Taiwan (text and photos by Jason Hsu/tr. by David Mayer)


Ruan Weng-mong:
Art and Peoples Diplomacy


Artist Ruan Weng-mong
displays his love for Taiwan
through his art, and quietly
dedicates himself to promoting
Taiwans diplomatic relations
throughout the world. He is
in fact an unofficial diplomat.
(photo by Jimmy Lin)


A fter studying sculpture at college in Taiwan, Ruan Weng-mong

traveled widely to the farthest reaches of Africa and to
Europe during his youth. A stay in the Kingdom of Swazi-
land opened new perspectives on the world of gems and
metals, and sojourns in Germany provided a solid
foundation in goldsmithing and jewelry design. His
works bring together elements of multiculturalism
expressed in his own very personal style. But though
Ruans travels connect primarily with the contem-
porary global metal art and sculpture community,
he has also quietly dedicated himself to promot-
ing Taiwans people-to-people relations around
the world.

925 2014
Mysterious West Africa (2014)
20 x 12 x 30.5 cm, granite, brass, ebony
agate and .925 silver.

41.5x14x40 2016
Original Decoration (2016)
41.5 x 14 x 40 cm, brass and jade.






Ruans association with Taiwans foreign affairs
started in 1976 when he was recruited by the
government to join a handicrafts teaching group on
a mission to Swaziland.



4.7x1.7x3.9 925 750K 2003
Golden Subtropical (2003)
4.7 x 1.7 x 3.9 cm, .925 silver and .750 yellow gold.

114 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

Taiwans jewelry design and goldsmithing commu-
nity will forever remember the German Contemporary
Metal Crafts Exhibition held at the Gold Museum in
New Taipei City from June to September, 2012.
More than 100 exhibits came from the unique
Schmuck museum (jewelry museum) in Pforz heim,
southern Germany. The city has over 300 years history
in jewelry and watchmaking, is famous as a center for
jewelry design and gold- and silversmithing, and is also
renowned for its jewelry and metal crafts collections.
The exhibition was organized by Taiwanese artist
Ruan Weng-mong, locally nicknamed The Happy
Master of goldsmithing.
An unofficial diplomat
From Swaziland to Germany, from age 21 to
his present 64 years, Ruan traveled and studied
at a number of vocational schools, particularly
at Wrzburg for 15 years where he earned an
A-Class certification as a master goldsmith.
Ruan says that during this period, I would
enroll in a course whenever I felt the need
to learn more. Ruan has also been design
director for five separate jewelry design com-
panies, and was at one time head of a design
and metal art association in Frankfurt. When-
ever he faced technical problems, he would seek far
and wide for a solution, for example calling on univer-
sity academics for help with optical cutting techniques, 750K 750K 1998
Subtropical Garden (1998)
or traveling to Shenzhen in China to learn fine skills of 4.2 x 2.1 x 2.6 cm, star
grinding gems. And due to his active promotion of Tai- sapphire, diamonds, .750
yellow gold, and .750 white
wans global diplomatic relationships, fewer Germans gold.
now mistake Taiwan for Thailand. With the rich experi-
ences gained from several decades of overseas residence
and travel, Ruan has been able to promote Taiwans vis-
ibility on the international stage. He has been in fact an Chang was the first person in Taiwan to gain a di-
accomplished unofficial diplomat. ploma from the Gemological Institute of America, and
Ruan is a graduate of the National Art Academy in his publication of Jewelry World, Taiwans first book on
Tai pei (now the National Taiwan University of Arts) gemology, planted a seed in the young Ruans mind.
with a major in sculpture, but his academic career has Ruan believed strongly that he was fated for an ar-
taken many twists and turns. When he was just 13, he tistic career, so he opened his mind and began methodi-
dropped out of junior high school to enroll in a design cally to explore the world of art.
course with the Taipei Vocational Training Center. There Ruan laid a solid foundation for his three-dimen-
he gained a wide range of skills such as printing and sional perspective skills in college. I discovered that
drawing design. But more valuable for Ruan than all the three- dimensional art is much more interesting and
books he read at college was his study of Jewelry World, profound than the plane, says Ruan. After graduat-
a book written by Felix Chang and published in 1973. ing from college, he was recruited by the Committee


11x4x20 2007
Original Passer-by (2007)
11 x 4 x 20 cm, silver, brass, and copper.

162x130 2007
Seeds of Life (2007)
162 x 130 cm, metallic powder and lacquer.

116 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02



In 2009, the Sino-German
Cultural and Economic Association
took part in the 40th anniversary
celebration of the TaiwanGerman
Friendship Association in Hamburg.
The associations chairman
Charlotte Han (left), vice chairman
Ruan Weng-mong (second from
right), and association council
member Lin Zhixin (right) were
invited to the celebration to sign a
mutual friendship agreement. The
photo was taken with Taiwans
representative in Germany, Wei
Wu-lien (second from left) in
Hamburg Town Hall. Ruan was
invited to speak and to exhibit
works at the Galerie Elbchaussee
in Hamburg.

of International Technical Cooperation (CITC, now the language, Ruan says, especially the specialist vocabulary
International Cooperation and Development Foundation, of goldsmithing and gemology, was all Greek to him. At
ICDF), and became one of the youngest members of a the beginning I had to look up every word. And at the
technical mission sent to teach woodcarving in Swaziland. same time that he was studying the theory, he was also
The person responsible for coordinating between the apprenticed to a jewelry store to gain hands-on experi-
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the CITC at the time was ence, an interesting aspect of Germanys dual education
diplomat Yang Hsi-kun, known as Mr. Africa. Ruans system. He had no idea at the time that more than four
association with Taiwans foreign affairs started there. decades later he would become a walking textbook for
As an artist, Ruan admits that he lacked the discipline Taiwans vocational education.
of the typical civil servant who is required to abide by the Ruan tried his best to integrate into German society
rules, and the solemnity of a diplomat. But despite these and was very keen to learn the theory and techniques of
deficiencies, he has actively promoted Taiwans foreign re- goldsmithing and silversmithing: not only art history and
lationships through his teaching, artworks and exhibitions. aesthetics, but the physical techniquesthe materials, the
Interdisciplinary work physics and chemistry of different metals. And then there
Swaziland was Ruans first foreign excursion, and he was psychology, and even Immanuel Kants Critique of
experienced quite a culture shock. In the Swaziland wood- Pure Reason.
carving center, there was also ceramic and gemstone work Ruan was confident that with the experience he had
under way. He taught woodcarving, but also took the gained working for jewelry companies, he could become a
opportunity to learn basic gem-grinding skills, inspiring a first-rate commercial jewelry designer. But what he really
new interest and desire to learn more about gemology. So wanted to do was to create works of art using all kinds of
he decided to go to Germany to study. gems and metals and differing techniques to reflect his ob-
The days of study in Germany were very hard. The servations of nature and his inner thoughts and emotions.

26x20x35 2014
Phantom of Paris (2014)
26 x 20 x 35 cm, agate and brass.

150x150 2007
FormDialogue (2007)
150 x 150 cm, metallic powder and lacquer.

118 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

This goal is reflected in works such as Original Decoration,
Humanistic Texture, Golden Subtropical, Hill Silhouettes, Seeds
of Life, and Ruts of Homeland displayed in the Post Vision
FormRuan Weng-Mong Solo Exhibition at the Taipei Mu-
seum of Contemporary Art from October to December 2016.
The exhibition transcended the limits of metal art, while
displaying an amazing diversity of techniques. Ruan has
virtually rebuilt the concepts and forms of traditional sculp-
ture. His philosophies are faithfully demonstrated through
these works, which in general present a German rational
and minimalist style, but at the same time reveal a nostalgia
for his home nationTaiwanand accurately convey his
interdisciplinary, intercultural, and international attributes.
A humanistic perspective
Ruan believes that contemporary art is the art of the
present, a form of aesthetic exploration and linguistic ex-
pression derived from continuous interaction and collision
between individual creativities, life experiences, and sur-
roundings: the physical environment, space and things.
Ruan has become involved in a broad range of studies
including the biological nature of seeds, and the hidden
world of archaeology.
Beauty is intuitive. Beautiful things impress Ruan
and inspire his creativity. For him, seeds are beautiful,
and excavating antiquities is beautiful. Ruan pondered
on how to represent the texture of an object in metal. So
taking one step at a time, he analyzed textures from a cul-
tural perspective to express a meaning to and for human
25x22.5x23.5 2016
Entry of Mind (2016) beings. These contemplations led finally to his work Hu-
25 x 22.5 x 23.5 cm, brass, stainless steel, and manistic Texture. When looking at art, we need to be able
to sense the artists original idea. The critics tend to get in
the way, to prioritize their own interpretations, to come
between the artist and the people.


Ruan curated the 2012 German Contemporary
Metal Crafts Exhibition at the Gold Museum in New
Taipei City. Ahead of the exhibition, museum director
Zai Zongxiong and other staff members visited a
vocational school for goldsmiths in Germany.

Taiwan is home, and Germany provides the nutri-

ents to grow. But Ruan doesnt carry the burden for a

( nation because for him the world is his home. He will

Ruan often uses drawing to express the logic of his
creative processa form of aesthetic exploration
continue to display the brilliance of his work on the in-
and linguistic expression derived from continuous ternational stage.
interaction and collision between individual creativity,
life experience, and surrounding events and objects. Art without borders
(photo by Jimmy Lin)
With a free spirit and unrestrained creativity, Ruan
was offered a prestigious position at the National Tai-
wan Craft Research and Development Institute
in Nan tou County during President Chen
Shui-bians term of office, and then another
7.7x4.4x2.7 935 2016 post by the Gold Museum in New Tai pei
Ruts of Homeland (2016) City. He declined both offers, feeling that his
7.7 x 4.4 x 2.7 cm, agate, ebony, and .935 silver.
ambition to expand his artistic horizons should
take priority.
For the future, Ruan wishes to divide his time
between creating art and promoting Taiwans diplo-
macy through culture and art. He will also manage the
Ruan Weng-mong College of Metal Art, to be opened
in the spring of 2017.

2017 Its a virtual college with no physical facilitiesall

the courses and activities will be offered from the cloud.

Classes will be mobile, depending on where exhibitions

are held, so they could be in Taipei, Tokyo or Frankfurt,
and will use whatever equipment is available locally.
As long as the content is rich, students will attend re-
gardless of distance. It may also be possible to promote
Taiwans image through Taiwan Panorama, says Ruan.
Ruan trusts no particular ideology, but continues
to show his love for Taiwan through his art. He is well

aware that his name represents Taiwan whenever it is

mentioned across the world. He is in many ways an ex-
tension of his native country, linking it to the world. l

(Su Hui-chao/photos courtesy of Ruan Weng-mong/

l tr. by Geoff Hegarty and Sophia Chen)

120 Taiwan Panorama 2017/02

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