A memorial park in honor of late minister of justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) opened in Yilan County on Saturday, coinciding with the fifth anniversary of his passing.
Chen, of the Democratic Progressive Party, died of lung cancer in November 2006. He was known as “Mr Clean” because of his dedication to fighting corruption during his political career, which began with his election as Yilan County commissioner in 1981.
The park’s opening ceremony was attended by former Academia Sinica president Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) and Taiwan Solidarity Union Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝).
When Chen passed away, the Chen Ding-nan Educational Foundation was established and donations were solicited for Chen Ding-nan Memorial Park to be built near his former residence in Sansing Township (三星), Yilan County, the foundation said.
The park has not only preserved the historic house in which Chen was born, it added new structures in an L-shaped layout, the foundation said.
Architect Huang Chien-hsing (黃建興) said the new buildings consist of primarily square structures in a bid to portray Chen’s just and upstanding life.
However, Huang Chien-hsing added that the buildings also incorporate arcs, to symbolizes that Chen, despite his rigid and inflexible morals, could still be soft and lenient in private.
The park’s landscaping was designed by Toshiya Ishimura to remind the visitor of Chen’s achievements during his stints as Yilan County commissioner and the minister of justice, the foundation said.
On display at the park’s exhibition hall are Chen’s briefcase as well as his shoes, and the watch given to Chen by his father when he was admitted into college.
There are also various written accounts of memorable events and small stories when Chen was the county commissioner and minister of justice.
Inside the memorial hall, many large pictures of Chen taken at various moments in his life are on display, allowing visitors to see Chen everywhere within the hall.
There is also artwork on display, such as a portrait of Chen made from 1,000 pencil heads in a matrix formation by artist Wang Chun-lung (王俊隆).
The park is open from 9am to 12am and 1:30pm to 5pm everyday except Mondays and admission is free.
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer