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Freedom at last

Freedom Square - four characters just installed on the gate of Taiwan Democracy Hall, 8 Dec 2007

I saw the characters of 大中至正 taken down from the main gate of Taiwan Democracy Hall last night. Then tonight at 6:30pm the final one of the four characters 自由廣場  meaning “Freedom Square”, was put in place. They seemed to spend a lot of time adjusting the right hand part of the 場 into position. It still looks a bit wrong to my eyes.

Expect further controversy about this issue. It has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with aesthetics. I have already heard several people criticise the choice of script. I am no expert on this, but I welcome other’s comments.

A few other bloggers have also published their opinions and photos. Alton writes about the change. Poagao also has his say. And there were plenty of comments on my post about the issue yesterday.

Comments

Comment from SQJTaipei
Time 9 December 2007 at 6:07 pm

Thanks for the report and for the picture. I hadn’t seen the script yet and I really don’t like it either.

Comment from Prince Roy
Time 9 December 2007 at 10:28 pm

I agree, an awful choice of script-looks like a cheap computer font. But I also agree with Poagao that 自由廣場 is an uninspired replacement phrase.

I wonder why they just don’t use a writing sample of a distinguished Taiwanese historical personage.

Comment from Tim Maddog
Time 11 December 2007 at 2:20 pm

Prince Roy, I’m not surprised by your “cheap computer font” and “uninspired replacement” comments. Did you prefer the old “tribute to a dead dictator”? ;-)

Long Live Freedom!

Tim Maddog

Comment from Mark
Time 12 December 2007 at 10:45 pm

Didn’t you get the memo? Nobody’s quite sure when it actually lived, but it’s dead. That’s why they call it Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall.

Comment from Prince Roy
Time 14 December 2007 at 12:33 am

I see you’re a fan of takeout box chopstick font, and that’s all well and good, but as for me, what I think would be more visually appealing is what I mentioned above: an inscription done in the calligraphy of a notable Taiwanese historical personage.

Comment from Prince Roy
Time 14 December 2007 at 12:44 am

You may be on to something here. This unilateral act of executive power, without input from the legislature or before the courts were even able to determine whether the municipal or central government actually have jurisdiction over the site, shows that the new name is apt.

Comment from David Reid
Time 14 December 2007 at 8:18 am

Regarding the styles of calligraphy. This is from Wikipedia:

On Dec. 7 2007, the Ministry of Education revealed that the new inscriptions to be used on the main building and the main gate. The inscription over the main building spells “Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall” (台灣民主紀念館) in seven Chinese characters taken from the calligraphy work of Ouyang Xun (歐陽詢) of the Tang Dynasty, while the four Chinese characters that represent “Liberty Square” (自由廣場) on the main gate is from the work of calligrapher Wang Xizhi of the East Jin Dynasty.

Comment from Prince Roy
Time 14 December 2007 at 3:07 pm

See, that’s the lowest blow of all. Why are they using mainland calligraphers? They should find a model from Taiwan.

It’s enough to make me suspect there may be a pan-Blue mole in their midst.

Comment from Tim Maddog
Time 14 December 2007 at 3:35 pm

Make up your mind, PR! First you call it a “cheap computer font,” then you call it a “takeout box chopstick font,” and even when you find out it’s a famous calligrapher, it’s not good enough for you. Why is it that you seem to prefer the tribute to the dead dictator?

You said “mole”! LOL!

Comment from Prince Roy
Time 14 December 2007 at 5:32 pm

yeah, a low quality knock-off of long dead mainland calligraphers. My point stands. I think they should represent and find a native Taiwanese calligrapher. Otherwise, this was as useless and futile an exercise as so many in Taipei seem to think. Hmmm.

Pingback from Glimpses of democracy or dictatorship? – David on Formosa
Time 30 August 2008 at 1:11 am

[...] Last year in May the name of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall was changed to National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall. There was considerably more controversy later in the year when the four characters representing the name of Chiang Kai-shek (大中至正) were removed from the main gate of the hall and replaced with Freedom Square (自由廣場). (See Four characters removed from Democracy Hall and Freedom at last). [...]