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Visiting some museums in Taiwan

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in Taichung City

While visiting Taizhong on Friday I had some spare time in the afternoon to visit the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (國立臺灣美術館). It was a brilliant sunny day in Taizhong and the museum looked fantastic surrounded by a nice park. The space of the museum is very open and well designed.

kids playing on a sculpture outside the Fine Arts Museum in Taichung

The sculpture in the museum grounds naturally attracts the attention of children. The museum currently has an exhibition the history of Taiwanese art from 1763 to 1969. The various artworks show the development of artistic styles in Taiwan from the Qing period up to the early KMT era. 

panorama photo of the Shihsanhang Museum in Bali, Taipei County, Taiwan

On Sunday I went to visit the Shihsanhang Museum of Archaeology (十三行博物館) in Bali as a class outing for the Culture and Ethnic Structure of Taiwan class in the Taiwan Studies program at NCCU. I visited the museum last year, but it was good to go back again. The architectural design of the museum really is very special. It is worth taking some time to walk around just to appreciate it. 

Reconstruction in Shihsanhang Museum of a slate house as built by the Paiwan tribe in the south of Taiwan

At the museum we were given a sneak preview of the new Paiwan exhibition which opens today. The Paiwan (排灣) live in the mountains of Southern Taiwan. The photo above shows a model of a slate house. You can still see buildings like this in Taiwan today in the Maolin Scenic Area in Kaohsiung County. 

Taiwan has so many museums and their standards are often very high. I thought I would mention a few of the museums I have visited. I haven't written about all of them on this blog. You can find the ones I have written about by checking the museums & galleries category

Saisiat Museum in Nanzhuang, Miaoli County

There are a number of museums devoted to the culture and history of Taiwan's indigenous people. These include the Wulai Atayal Museum, the Museum of Saisiat Folklore in Nanzhuang, the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines in Taipei, the National Museum of Prehistory in Taidong as well as the Shihsanhang Museum. I am sure there are probably a few more.

Taipei County Hakka Museum in Sanxia

There are also museums that are focused on local history or special topics such as the Ceramics Museum in Yingge, the Tea Museum in Pinglin, the Hot Spring Museum in Beitou, the Lin Liu-Hsin Puppet Theatre Museum in Dadaocheng and the Hakka Museum in Sanxia.

In Taipei I like to visit Taipei MOCA and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum regularly to check out some of Taiwan's contemporary art. There are also some art galleries devoted to Buddhist art: the Huafan Cultural Gallery at Huafan University and Fo Guang Yuan, near Songshan Station. The Museum of World Religions is a chance to learn more about religion and also experience excellent modern museum design. 

228 Memorial Museum in Taipei

There are frequent displays at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall. The National Museum of History, 228 National Memorial Museum, the Taipei 228 Memorial Museum and National Taiwan Museum are all located not far from each other in Taipei City. And of course this post wouldn't be complete without mentioning the National Palace Museum containing the world's largest collection of Chinese art and artifacts in the world.

What is your favorite museum in Taiwan? Are there any more you would like to add to this list? Please add your comments.

File next to:
Museums at NTU
End of semester at NCCU
Folk Arts Museum in Beitou
Photos from the weekend
Shi-Da class outing to Yingge


Comment from cfimages
Time 5 December 2007 at 7:19 am

Nice post. There’s an ok, although rather small, fishing museum in Donggang, Pingtung county that’s quite interesting. And in Huatan, Changhua county, is the Taiwanese Folk Village which may be considered more of a theme park than a museum, although none of the rides seemed to be working when I was there. But the village shows traditional Taiwanese architecture and living and makes for an interesting couple of hours. If you ever decide to check it out, let me know, because it’s fairly close to me and I’ve been meaning to make a return trip there sometime.

Comment from owshawng
Time 5 December 2007 at 10:44 am

Wow. Didn’t realize there were so many good museums around Taiwan. I love the National Palace Museum, it makes the Chinese art at The Met in New York look shabby. The Sun Yat-Sen memorial Hall is always a must see when I visit Taiwan.

Comment from Red A
Time 6 December 2007 at 5:52 pm

When I first came to Taichung, the art museum would give out awesome postcards of the Chinese art being exhibited. These were top quality prints and free. I ended up sending a lot those to friends and family. I think that stopped, and they even closed the museum for a while.

Comment from Huang
Time 8 December 2007 at 12:25 am

Let’s see…….. Juming, 921 Earthquake Museum, Taiwan Coal Museum, and Lujhou’s Forbidden City Museum are all worthy of being included on your list. In my humble opinion, Juming is one of the best modern sculpture parks in Asia -maybe the world!