In the last week I have visited a couple of excellent museums in Taiwan. It reminded me that there are many great museums here in Taiwan, big and small. The one in the photo above is the Shihsanhang Museum (十三行博物館) in Bali, Taipei County. The museum seeks to preserve artifacts from the Shihsanhang archaeological site which was Taiwan's first iron smelting site. The museum is also notable for its unique architectural design and surrounding cultural park.
Last week I was down in Taizhong where I visited the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (國立台灣美術館). The space of the museum is very open and well designed. It is also surrounded by a nice park. While I was there I saw on exhibition on the history of Taiwanese art from from 1763 to 1969.
The photo above shows the Taipei County Hakka Museum in Sanxia . It is in a building designed like the tulou (土樓) found in the Hakka regions of Fujian and Guangdong Provinces in China. Sanxia also has a small museum in the centre of the town detailing some local history.
There are many other 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 (Taipei City) and the National Museum of Taiwan Literature in Tainan.
There are a number of museums devoted to the culture and history of Taiwan's indigenous people. These include the Atayal Museum in Wulai, 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 mentioned above. There is also a small museum of Atayal weaving in Luofu not far from the Xiao Wulai waterfall. I am sure there are probably a few more.
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.
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.
According to the Council of Cultural Affairs there are more than 400 museums in Taiwan. I have only visited a fraction of them.
* based on a post about museums at David on Formosa.