While some people choose to throw away items left behind by their former love interests or store them in a box, students at National Dong Hwa University’s Department of Sinophone Literatures believe it is a better idea to put them on public display.
The students came up with the idea at the Curatorial Practice and Literary Production course offered by Taiwanese poet Yan Hung-ya (閻鴻亞), better known by his pseudonym Hung-hung (鴻鴻).
To celebrate the conclusion of the course, the students decided to put on display more than 50 items that were either returned or left behind by a former girlfriend or boyfriend at an exhibition called the “Breakup Museum (分手博物館).”
The “breakup items,” which were donated anonymously, cover a wide range of objects, including a purple lace panty that the donor wore when she had “breakup sex” with her ex-boyfriend and a black brassiere that belonged to the lover of the donor’s former partner.
There is also a paperboard printed with slogans protesting against the now-scrapped plan for the construction of Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology’s naphtha cracker complex — a reminder of the time the contributor and his ex-girlfriend took to the streets to oppose the controversial project.
Other objects include a DVD of the movie adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, which, according to the donor, signifies the “money he had spent on his former partner,” as well as necklaces, perfumes, jeans and cellphones.
Recalling the time she received the object, the donor of the black brassiere said she was furious when she learned it belonged to another woman.
“TMD! [the acronym for tamade (他媽的, a curse word)] How could you give me another woman’s underwear?” the donor recalled herself saying at the time.
Lo Yu-ting (羅于婷), one of the organizers, said once they had spread the word that they were collecting souvenirs from people’s past relationships for an exhibition, they were soon inundated with “all kinds of unthinkable objects.”
Lo said the exhibition, which is being held in the former residence of a Japanese general in Hualien County until July 28, is built on the theme of “letting go of the old, embracing the new and loving yourself.”
The students also published a Breakup Manual, which sells for NT$174 — a number that is homophonous with the phrase “go to hell (你去死)” in Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese).