The Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE) will be held at the Taipei World Trade Center from Jan. 30 to Feb. 4. An exhibition titled “Exhibition of Writers’ Collectables” held by the National Museum of Taiwan Literature — the first national literature museum in Taiwan — will showcase 30 to 40 items of personal memorabilia that belonged to some literary luminaries at the Exhibition Hall 1’s Taiwan publications area.
Lee Rui-teng, director of the National Museum of Taiwan Literature, believes that literature and writers’ collectables are inseparable from each other. He therefore advocates making “literature and writers’ collectables” a field of study in itself, which would encompass every literary work and historical object associated with a writer. These would range from manuscripts, diaries, letters, books, periodicals, newspapers, photos and videos to appliances used by a writer during his or her daily life.
There are many touching stories behind each object in a writer’s collection left untold. At the exhibition, visitors get a glimpse into the quotidian lives of various writers, including physician and poet Chan Tso-chou, novelist and film producer Liu Na-ou, female writers Lin Hai-yin, San Mao and Chu Tien-wen, playwright Yao Yi-wei, and others.
There are three exhibition areas: one for historical objects, a second for emotional interchange, and a third for hearty dialogues, which best show each writer’s individual character. All the objects on display have been donated by either the writers themselves or their family members. The upcoming special exhibition at the TIBE marks the first time that these collectables have been displayed outside the National Museum of Taiwan Literature.
Aside from the special exhibition, the National Museum of Taiwan Literature will also hold two lectures at the TIBE. One is titled “literary talks: love in heaven and on Earth” by Lee Rui-teng at 1pm on Feb. 1. The other is titled “San Mao forever in our hearts” by San Mao’s elder sister Chen Tien-hsin along with Chen Ta-chen, a teacher of Chinese language at Ming-Dao High School in Greater Taichung, at 4pm on Feb. 2. There are also free souvenirs on offer for visitors attending the exhibition. People are welcome to decipher each writer’s creative codes by taking a look at his or her collectables. In this way, visitors will appreciate not only authors’ written works, but also their literary landscapes.
(Lin Ya-ti, Taipei Times)