Thu, Mar 12, 2015 - Page 4 News List

New museum to focus on democratic development

By Chu Tse-wei and Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Visitors attend an exhibition on Taiwan’s democratic development on Thursday last week, during the trial operation of a new memorial hall built by the Chilin Foundation in Yilan County.

Photo: Chu Tze-wei, Taipei Times

The Chilin Foundation, founded by former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄), is set to inaugurate a museum in Yilan County in May, although a pre-opening exhibition began on March 3, that is aimed at introducing a history of Taiwan’s democratic development.

The exhibition includes a speech on anti-nuclear movements by renowned film director Ko I-chen (柯一正) on March 21, the foundation said.

The new museum consists of an exhibition hall for democratic movements, a library of social movements — the first of its kind in Taiwan — and an art gallery, the foundation said.

History of the nation’s social movements in textbooks is far from informative and comprehensive, foundation chief historian of Taiwanese social movements Chen Feng-ping (陳鳳萍) said, adding that the foundation is devoted to collecting documents relating to the nation’s democratic development, including those concerning the 228 Incident, the Kaohsiung Incident, Lin I-hsiung’s family tragedy and the more recent anti-nuclear movements.

Oil paintings and photographs, in addition to earlier publications, are to be put on display to chronicle the lives of human rights champions and the obstacles they faced under former authoritarian regimes, the foundation said.

Founded in 1991 by Lin and his wife, Fang Su-min (方素敏), the foundation houses a small exhibition center at its headquarters in the county’s Wujie Township (五結), the foundation said.

The foundation decided to build a more spacious museum to store and exhibit historical materials and Taiwanese art, the foundation said.

Exhibits originally collected at the foundation’s headquarters would be relocated to the new museum, with the headquarters’ exhibition center turned into a calligraphy gallery, including Lin’s artworks, the foundation said.

Open every week from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 2pm, the exhibition is scheduled to run through the end of next month, with guided tours available upon reservation for groups of 10 or more people, the foundation said.

Lin is scheduled to inaugurate the museum on May 9, the foundation added.

Lin built a Chilin Cultural and Education Center in Wujie over a decade ago, housing historical data and pictures of past dangwai (黨外, “outside the party”) rallies and election events. The term dangwai referred to all political activity during the 1950s conducted by people outside of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

Lin participated in every part of the museum’s construction, the foundation said.

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