"Preserving Taiwan's 400 Years Through Rubbings" Exhibition at NCKU History Museum

"Preserving Taiwan's 400 Years Through Rubbings" Exhibition at NCKU History Museum.

SDG11

"Preserving Taiwan's 400 Years Through Rubbings" Exhibition at NCKU History Museum.

Synergy Correlation

The Department of History at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), in collaboration with the National Taiwan Library of the National Palace Museum and the Tainan Municipal Museum, has joined forces for the first time to present the "Preserving Taiwan's 400 Years Through Rubbings: A Treasured Collection Exhibition." The exhibition, taking place from now until May 27th at NCKU's History Museum in the Guangfu Campus, showcases 31 rubbings of stone steles from various historical periods, offering insights into Taiwan's 400-year journey of cultural and historical development, as well as changes in its geographical environment. NCKU students, faculty, and the general public are warmly invited to visit the campus and witness the splendor of these cultural artifacts.

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 Yuh-Neu 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-Sung 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 Hung-Ming Chang, Deputy Director Ming-Chou Lin attended the opening ceremony, making the journey from Nantou on the 12th. Ming-Chou Lin 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 newly established Tainan City Museum, formerly known as the Koxinga Museum located on Kaishan Road in the West Central District of Tainan City. Representing the museum,  Chih-Yuan Tseng, head of the promotion section, expressed gratitude for the assistance provided by the Department of History at NCKU since the museum's transformation initiative began in 2019. The museum is expected to reopen by the end of this year (2023), and we are delighted to share our collections in advance through this joint exhibition.

"Preserving Taiwan's 400 Years Through Rubbings: A Treasured Collection Exhibition" curated by NCKU's Professor Wen-Sung Chen features a diverse collection, including rubbings sourced from NCKU's historical site survey team, replicas of lost steles from the National Museum of Taiwan History, and cultural artifacts from Tainan City Museum. On May 26th, four renowned poets from Tainan and southern Taiwan will chant poetry, blending verse with the rubbings' historical records, bridging past and present to celebrate more than just 400 years of Tainan's history.

The two-week exhibition showcases a total of 31 rubbings, spanning various historical periods, including the "沈有容諭退紅毛番韋麻郎等" stele (1604-1620), "施琅靖臺碑記" (1685), "重建烽火館碑記" (1768), "哆咯嘓大武壟派二社番租碑記" (1779), "命於臺灣建福康安等功臣生祠詩以誌事" (1788), "嚴禁胥吏苛索船戶陋規碑記" (1816), "三十三天天外天題詩碑" (1875-1908), "故鈴江團吉先生紀念碑" (1911), and "鄭成功幼年學習文武碑" (1868-1912).

Since April 1972, NCKU's Department of History, under the leadership of various heads like Professors  Zhen-zhi Wu and Jie-Shian Chen, has been actively involved in historical site surveys and rubbings collection. Teachers such as  Mian-Shi Li,  Wan-Shou Shi,  Dian-Quan Huang, and  Pei-Fu He have contributed significantly to building a vast collection of rubbings. The revival of the academic journal "Historical Site Survey" in 2020 by Professor Wen-Sung Chen reflects the department's ongoing commitment to this field. Rubbings teaching has become a hallmark of the department's educational approach, marking "50 Years of Rubbing Tradition in NCKU's Department of History" alongside the current exhibition's theme, "Preserving Taiwan's 400 Years Through Rubbings."

Professor Pei-Fu He (1954-2022), a faculty member at NCKU's Department of History since 1982, made significant contributions to Taiwan's cultural and historical heritage through his involvement in historical site surveys and rubbings collection. His academic achievements have left a lasting impact, spanning various fields such as Taiwanese history, cultural heritage, and the arts. To commemorate his legacy during the "Preserving Taiwan's 400 Years Through Rubbings: A Treasured Collection Exhibition," special events including memorial lectures, panel discussions, and rubbings workshops were organized to highlight the importance of preserving and understanding the historical significance of rubbings. Mr.  Guo-Dong Zeng, chairman of the Tainan Cultural Heritage Preservation Association and an alum from NCKU's Department of History, delivered a keynote speech titled "Dedicating a Lifetime to Rubbings," reflecting on Professor He's lifelong dedication to this field.

Visitor Information
Exhibition Period: May 12, 2023 (Friday) - May 27, 2023 (Saturday)
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: History Museum, Kuang-Fu Campus, NCKU
*Closed on May 14, 2023 (Sunday)
 

The " Preserving Taiwan's 400 Years Through Rubbings" 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, 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, Ming-Chou Lin,  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, Chih-Yuan Tseng, 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 Tradition in NCKU's Department of History."

Professor Wen-Sung Chen from the Department of History at NCKU is the chief curator of the rubbings joint exhibition.

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 He laid a solid foundation for collecting inscriptions and monuments in Taiwan. The exhibition's descriptions closely reflect the textual records left by Professor He Peifu at that time.

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