The Taipei Confucius Temple is offering visitors a new experience through the presentation of its history and the sage’s teachings in a “4D” film format which blends traditional culture with modern technology.
Two 15-minute films are being shown in the “4D” theater of the temple’s newly renovated building and are accompanied by special effects such as smoke, bubbles, wind and vibrations which run alongside the stories as they unfold. One of the videos features a meeting between Confucius (孔子), his disciples and the rulers of several nations. Set against the backdrop of ancient China, the film portrays Confucius’ political philosophy and wisdom in tackling potential conflicts, based mainly on chapters of the Analects.
To make it more representative of contemporary Taiwan, it is presented in a form of Taiwanese hand puppetry with the voiceover in Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese). The film comes with English subtitles and a subtitled version in Japanese is expected to be ready by the end of this month, said Chen Tsai-hung (陳彩虹), executive secretary of the temple’s governing board.
Another film, which is voiced in Mandarin and also has English subtitles, focuses on the history of the temple itself — the only Confucian temple in Taiwan that was not constructed by the government.
First built in 1884 during the Qing Dynasty (1662-1895), the temple was torn down by the Japanese government in 1907 during its colonization of the country (1895-1945). Eighteen years later, a group of local gentry decided to rebuild the temple on land donated by some of its members, with more than 200 people joining the project.
The temple as it stands today was completed in 1939 before being donated to the Taipei City Government in 1971, and it has been under the city’s jurisdiction ever since.
The “4D” theater, which underwent a trial run beginning in late March, offers visitors a new audio and video experience that is far more captivating than textbooks and helps them learn about Confucius’ teachings, said Wang Fu-ching, a member of the temple’s governing board.
“Our theater is pioneering modern technology,” he added.