Visitors to the Taipei International Book Exhibition can get a glimpse of the scenic beauty of days past thanks to hundreds of old postcards on display, ranging from 60 to 90 years old.
The five-day exhibition, which opens on Wednesday, will include more than 300 postcards produced in Taiwan and China featuring scenery, portraits, architecture, historical events, flora and fauna and local customs.
The postcards are from the National Central Library’s collection. The library began collecting them about 12 years ago to provide a view of ordinary people’s lives.
Highlights include postcards painted by Japanese artists, including bird’s-eye views of Taiwan by Hatsusaburo Yoshida (1884 to 1955), a prolific artist who painted more than 3,000 aerial views.
There will also be works by Tetsuomi Tateishi (1905 to 1980), a Japanese national born in Taipei who later helped set up a showroom that featured the work of top Taiwanese artists.
There are photographs of Thao Aborigines at Sun Moon Lake and a procession of Taoist deities and believers from the 158-year-old Ching Shan Temple in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華).
The postcard exhibition aims to inspire nostalgia and draw attention to Taiwan’s cultural diversity, National Central Library director-general Tseng Shu-hsien (曾淑賢) said in a statement.
Most of the postcards found in Taiwan were produced by Japanese colonial authorities, who popularized postcards in Taiwan after 1905, or by private publishers, the library said.
The 300 postcards in the exhibit were selected from the library’s collection of 4,800 postcards produced in Taiwan and 8,800 collected from China.
Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand are the theme countries for this year’s book exhibition.
The Japanese section will introduce Japanese literature, technology, encyclopedias and world heritage sites. Cookery writer Harumi Kurihara will give a talk on Saturday, the Taipei Book Fair Foundation said.
The Thai section will exhibit more than 500 titles from 22 publishers, the foundation said.
A pavilion promoting the theme of “good living” will exhibit important artifacts and out-of-print books from Taiwan, as well as postcards from the 1920s to the 1940s.
Publishers from Taiwan and abroad will also display more than 100 books on topics such as travel, cooking and healthy living, the foundation said.
The children’s book pavilion will include a display of 95 works by 44 illustrators from Spain, Portugal and other Iberian territories, the foundation said.
A pavilion for books from China will also be set up at the fair for the second year in a row, showcasing close to 20,000 publications from 105 Chinese publishers, it added.