“If I can’t take them with me, I might as well leave them for others,” rhodonite collector Lin Sung-chi (林松錡) says.
For Lin, the veins on the rhodonite crystals convey a beauty that is comparable to a Chinese landscape painting and are one of the reasons why he fell in love with collecting the mineral, especially rhodonite crystals excavated in Taiwan.
Taiwanese rhodonite is comparatively younger in geological age, offers richer color schemes, is more dynamic and has a varied texture and vein patterns compared with other variants, Lin said.
It is Earth’s gift to Taiwan, he said.
Lin said that each of the 200-odd crystals he has collected tells a story of its own, which changes depending on his mindset or emotions when he is looking over his collection, adding that sometimes if you shift an angle, it is like seeing the stone from a new perspective.
As a rhodonite collector, Lin is not unknown among other large-scale collectors, such as the Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery, and the books and digital files he has published on stone collecting have a wide audience — in business as well as political circles.
However, at the height of his career, Lin was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Despite undergoing surgical procedures, Lin’s condition has deteriorated over the years.
“I feel that my body contracts involuntarily and it is excruciating,” Lin said.
While it may not be evident that he is ill when he is talking to friends, the times that he can actually speak with them are increasingly fewer.
The interval between each attack is growing shorter and shorter and the attacks are also getting more severe, Lin said, adding that he could feel his life slipping away.
However, Lin remains optimistic, hoping to get his affairs in order for the eventual arrival of death. He especially wants to see his stone collection put to good use.
“It has always been my wish to found a museum for the exhibition of Taiwanese rhodonite crystals,” Lin said.
However, the size of his collection is not big enough, so his wish has never come to fruition, he said.
To let more people understand the beauty of Taiwanese rhodonite crystals, Lin said he is willing to donate his entire collection to the public.
He has also published a book titled To Let Love Soar (讓愛飛揚), which records all the characteristics of each stone in his collection.
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff writer