Wed, Jul 18, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Renowned aesthetician delivers speech to visually impaired
蔣勳談美學 視障族開「眼界」

Chiang Hsun, front center, sits with his audience for a group photo after giving a speech at National Taiwan Museum’s Taiwan Land Bank Exhibition Hall on Tuesday last week.

Photo: Hsieh Wen-hua, Liberty Times

Always able to talk about art history in ways that are soul-stirring for his audience, Chiang Hsun delivered an eye-opening speech on aesthetics on Tuesday last week for 50 visually impaired people. His audience was both moved and captivated. “We often need to close our eyes because they are typically the greatest handicap for our other organs. When you love someone and get close to them physically, hug them or hold hands, how can you feel the slightest changes in body temperature if your eyes are wide open?”

Chiang said that when he is unable to find peace in Taipei, he goes to Taroko Gorge to listen to the sounds of the Liwu River, the winding river cutting through the gorge, and the sound of water crashing against the stones, which he says sounds quite different from the sounds of the Seine or the Yellow River. He says it is the most beautiful sound. “Your hands are certainly more capable of feeling the lines that the river has left on the rocks over the past 300 million years.”

Chiang recalls seeing a visually impaired person reading a book at the library once, “Each finger skimming over the surface was like eyes for him. If I had to use my fingers to read a book, I would be the one with a disability.” Chiang believes that when the Chinese philosopher Laozi said, “Looking without seeing, listening without hearing,” he spoke of the most veritable disability.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)




1. eye-opening adj.

大開眼界的 (da4 kai1 yan3 jie4 de5)

例: Spending a month traveling in India was an eye-opening experience for me.


2. visually impaired adj. phr.

有視力障礙的 (you3 shi4 li4 zhang4 ai4 de5)

例: Braille is the system that visually impaired people most commonly use to read and write.


3. winding adj.

曲折的 (qu1 zhe2 de5)

例: The winding road that runs through the forest is very difficult to navigate at night.




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