Thu, Jan 24, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Vintage dental exhibition celebrates modernization

EMPOWERED:The Daxi Wood Art Ecomuseum has been teaching locals how to take care of the artifacts they possess, so that they can tell their own stories

By Hsu Chuo-hsun and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

An exhibition of vintage dental equipment opened on Saturday last week in Taoyuan’s Dasi District (大溪) at what used to be a dental clinic during the Japanese colonial era.

Now a noodle shop, the single-story building, which is more than 100 years old, used to house the first clinic in the area to offer Western treatment.

The area was one of the first in Taoyuan to be modernized.

The exhibition features a dental chair that is nearly six decades old, as well as a desk, and various dental instruments and old photographs.

The dental chair was considered the most advanced at the time, said Lin Hsing-ho (林興和), the 70-year-old owner of the building, whose father, Lin Chang-mao (林長茂), opened the clinic after receiving training abroad.

Lin Hsing-ho converted the space into a noodle shop after his father passed away more than 40 years ago, he said, adding that by exhibiting these artifacts, he feels as if he has traveled back to Taiwan’s era of modernization.

He is glad that the story of his father’s generation is being told in a different way, he said.

The exhibition is being held with the assistance of the Daxi Wood Art Ecomuseum as part of a Ministry of Culture program, which aims to preserve and showcase historically significant buildings, artifacts or other materials that are found in local communities.

The Lin family’s residence can be considered a microcosm of Taiwan’s medical development, museum director Chen Chien-hui (陳倩慧) said.

The exhibition should improve residents’ understanding of local culture and raise awareness about the importance of its preservation, she said.

The museum began looking for homeowners and businesses to participate in the program in 2017. It has helped participants analyze artifacts and hosted workshops teaching people how to store and take care of the artifacts they possess.

The museum said it hopes that the program will enable people to tell their own stories about Dasi.

The exhibition is open for three more days from Friday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

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