Previously, viewing the authentic inscriptions on stone steles required arduous journeys, but this collaborative exhibition has captured widespread attention as a first-time venture involving the three institutions. The opening ceremony on the 12th was graced by the presence of NCKU President Meng-Ru Shen, Vice President Yu-Nü Chen, the Chair of the Department of History, Hsing-Chuan Tsai, along with several NCKU faculty members and experts in cultural and historical fields. The 80-year-old retired NCKU history professor Wan-Shou Shih also attended in person, sharing his experiences of participating in the documentation of historical inscriptions. Subsequently, Professor Wen-Song Chen, the chief curator of the exhibition, provided guided tours to the attendees, creating a vibrant and enthusiastic atmosphere.
President Shen of NCKU expressed great anticipation for this exhibition. In addition to delivering the opening speech, he actively participated in guiding and explaining the exhibits on the morning of the 12th. Through the showcased artifacts, President Shen reflected on Taiwan's 400-year history. He emphasized that student and faculty safety, sustainability, and cultural exhibitions are the three main developmental focal points of the campus. He joyfully embraced the idea of enriching the university's content through humanistic exhibitions and pledged full support for similar activities in the future.
The National Taiwan Library, located in Nantou's Zhongxing New Village and affiliated with the National Palace Museum, boasts an extensive collection. Since its inception during the era of the Taiwan Provincial Document Commission in 1953, it has been dedicated to collecting rubbings of stone inscriptions from all around Taiwan. Last year, for a half-year period in July, it hosted the "Precious Rubbings from the Collection: An Exhibition of Lost Steles Nationwide" at the Zhongxing New Village main hall. Representing Director-General Chia-Ming Lin, Deputy Director Lin Ming-Chou attended the opening ceremony, making the journey from Nantou on the 12th. Lin Ming-Chou mentioned that this joint exhibition is the first occasion for these rubbings of lost inscriptions to be displayed in southern Taiwan. It also marks the first time that these treasured rubbings connect Taiwan's 400-year developmental history. The content of these inscriptions allows us to understand local historical events, changes in ethnic interactions, and the diverse facets of social life. Lin expressed hopes for more individuals to engage in fascinating historical work in the future.
The 'Preserving Taiwan's 400 Years' exhibition, which retraces 400 years of Taiwan's history through rubbings for the first time, marks a collaborative effort among NCKU's History Department, National Museum of Taiwan History, and Tainan Municipal Museum.
NCKU President, Dr. Meng-Ru Sheng, is eagerly anticipating the exhibition. He not only delivered the opening speech but also participated in guiding visitors through the exhibits on the morning of the 12th.
On the morning of the 12th, Lin Ming-Chou, Director's Secretary of the National Museum of Taiwan History, personally drove down from Nantou to attend the opening ceremony of the joint exhibition.
Representing the museum, Tseng Chih-Yuan, head of the Promotion Division at Tainan Municipal Museum, expressed that the museum is expected to reopen by the end of 2023. He also expressed his delight in sharing their collection through this joint exhibition in advance.
80-year-old retired professor of NCKU's History Department, Wan-Shou Shi, also made an appearance at the exhibition on the 12th to share his experiences in documenting historical inscriptions and monuments.
According to the Department Chair of NCKU's History Department, Hsin-Chuan Tsai, the instruction of rubbings is a distinctive feature of the department's teaching methods, often referred to as '50 years of Rubbing Traditions in NCKU's History Department.
Dr. Wen-Sung Chen, a professor in NCKU's History Department, serves as the mastermind behind the 'Preserving Taiwan's 400 Years' exhibition, curating its content.
In addition to showcasing the process and tools of making rubbings, the exhibition features a 'Rubbings Experience Zone,' allowing visitors to personally experience the joy of making rubbings.
The journal 'Monumenta Serica' was established in 1973 by NCKU's History Department, serving as a crucial academic publication during that time. It was revived by Professor Wen-Sung Chen in 2020.
Professor Pei-Fu Ho laid a solid foundation for collecting inscriptions and monuments in Taiwan. The exhibition introduces the exhibits of the 'Preserving Taiwan's 400 Years' exhibition, many of which are recorded in the original text left by Professor Pei-Fu Ho.