Taipei Confucius Temple will offer visitors a new experience through the presentation of its history and teachings in “4D” film format soon.
For example, a stereoscopic depiction of the interaction between Confucius (孔子), his disciples and the rulers of several nations, set against the backdrop of ancient China, will be accompanied by special physical effects such as falling snow, wind and vibrations.
The 15-minute film, to be shown in the temple’s 4D theater that will open later this year, highlights Confucius’ philosophy on music and courtesy.
“Most of the film’s stories were drawn from chapters of the Analects of Confucius, but we’ve made them more interesting,” Sh Shu-li, executive secretary of Taipei Confucius Temple’s governing board, said in a recent interview.
Another film traces the history of the temple itself — the only Confucius temple in Taiwan that was built by the public rather than the government.
First built in 1884 during the Qing Dynasty, the Taipei Confucius Temple was torn down by the Japanese colonial government in 1907.
Eighteen years later, a group of local gentry decided to rebuild the temple on land donated by some of its members. Taipei Confucius Temple, as it stands today, was completed in 1939. It was donated to the Taipei City Government in 1971 and has been under its jurisdiction ever since.
The Taipei temple has a less solemn atmosphere than other Confucius temples built by the government, Sh said.
As part of its efforts to present Confucian teachings and philosophy in a more modern format, the temple also has multimedia simulations of the “Six Arts” — rites, music, archery, charioting, calligraphy and mathematics.
According to Confucian teaching, these arts are central to a well-rounded education.
The multimedia components, which were launched last month, include interactive devices, animated videos and games that are featured in different areas of the temple to encourage visitors to explore the Six Arts.
In one space, a device allows visitors to “hold” a brush to practice calligraphy, while in another area people can play a charioting game.
“Our multimedia equipment is what sets our temple apart from others,” said Tzeng Kung-yu, a member of the temple’s governing board.
“The multimedia devices are so popular among visitors on weekends that we often run out of souvenirs to give to them,” Tzeng said.
A popular tourist site, Taipei Confucius Temple attracted 330,780 visitors, nearly 46 percent of whom were from overseas, from January to November last year.
“Our foreign visitors are mostly from Europe, Japan and the United States,” Sh said.
Many people from other places such as China and South Korea also visit the temple.
“I think the new 4D theater and the multimedia presentations will help to attract even more visitors,” she said. “With these new additions, we expect visitors will spend more time at the temple.”