Art and religion play an equally important role in a country as politics and the economy, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said yesterday in Sanyi Township (三義), Miaoli County.
The 89-year-old former president was speaking to a group of woodcarving artists at Sanyi Woodcarving Museum, saying that art and religion are important in the 21st century because “technology cannot solve everything.”
Lee, who designated the small mountainous town in central Taiwan as a prime area for development when he served as Taiwan provincial governor in the early 1980s, said that he was happy to see the industry prosper and the town become famous for woodcarving.
The art of woodcarving is more than just giving form to eagles or dragons, it involves the mind and ideas to be able to take the art to another level, Lee said.
The former president also talked about the development of Taiwanese civilization — including education, art, religion and literature — as well as on domestic politics and the economy.
“The biggest flaw of Taiwanese people was their focus on materialism in the past, with people giving more importance to money and power over everything else,” he said.
“It’s time for us to develop art and thinking because they have a greater impact on a country, and their impact is eternal,” Lee added.
Lee is scheduled to visit Miaoli County’s Dahu Township (大湖) and the Hsinchu Biomedical Science Park in Hsinchu County’s Jhubei City (竹北) before returning to Taipei today.