The Taiwan Bowl and Dish Museum opened in Yilan County’s Yuanshan Township this past Saturday, housing an art collection of over 20,000 bowls, plates and other eating utensils. Chien Yang-tong, the museum’s founder, says that regardless of whether a person is poor or rich, bowls and plates are still used when a person eats their three daily meals. During the 30 years following World War II, it was popular to paint bowls and plates by hand, which feature a lot of local characteristics, for example, auspicious designs consisting of fish and shrimp, coconuts and the ocean, plum blossoms and orchids, bamboo and chrysanthemums, or even Fukurokuju, the god of happiness, wealth, and longevity in Japanese mythology, all representing the contemporary culture at the time they were made.
Chien says that since the 1970s, plastic eating utensils and machine-made ceramics have become common, causing people to feel a sense of nostalgia for the hand-painted eating utensils of our grandparents’ generation, back when every plate and bowl’s design was slightly different. Although the craftsmanship of ceramics at the time was far from perfect, they still give people a sense of ancient simplicity and refined familiarity, speaking volumes to the arduous enterprise craftsmen undertook to make them.
The museum is located inside Surewell’s headquarters next to Yuanshan’s Leikung Lake. It opens daily from 9am to 5pm. Tickets are NT$120, but there is a 50 percent discount for the first three months they are open, and children less than 120cm tall and disabled people can visit the museum free of admission. For more information visit the museum’s Web site at http://www.facebook.com/Taiwan.Bowl.Dish.Museum.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)
1. characteristic / n.
特色 (te4 se4)
例: Creating characters based on people in her life is one of the main characteristics of her novels.
2. auspicious adj.
吉祥的 (ji2 xiang2 de5)
例: Tomorrow is an auspicious day according to the traditional calendar.
3. chrysanthemum n.
菊花 (ju2 hua1)
例: Would you rather have green tea or chrysanthemum tea?