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Dream Walk through Xicheng: Special Exhibition Unveiling a Century of Stories in Taipei
Xicheng (“western city”) refers to Wanhua District in the west of Taipei City, which was the first part of the Taipei Basin to be developed. The Dream Walk through Xicheng special exhibition is split into six areas: Riverside Taipei, Twentieth-Century Taipei, The River of Memory, Reading West Taipei, Images of Taipei City, and Return to Glory (the last of which is scheduled to open on May 25, 2018).
Interspersed with images of the Danshui River, the exhibition uses historical documents and exhibitions of cultural relics to reveal the rich history behind West Taipei. Visitors will see the district’s history unfold from the early days during the Qing Dynasty, when it was known as “Bangka”, and its incorporation into the growing city under Japanese rule, and the rise of Nishimoncho (today’s Ximending), to the post-war development of Zhonghua Market, and finally to the residential planning as part of modern west Taipei.
Curated by the Taipei City Archives, the exhibition looks at this unfolding history in terms of the changing face of river transportation. Over the last 100 years and more, west Taipei has been witness to many tales: the rise and fall of trade, industrial transformation, and the transition of political power. Visitors who step into the Riverside Taipei area will see the earliest Kangxi-era map of Taiwan, an important national historical relic. Also on show are a map of Northern Taiwan from the Sino-French War and the first grant for land development in western Taipei—the 1709 Tân Lōa Chiong Land Grant.
The exhibition area also showcases changes in the daily life of ordinary citizens. The Japanese era brought with it a taste for the Japanese take on Western style, with men and women alike experimenting with Western fashions. Contemporary advertisements for wine and sake show how modern entertainment and consumer culture evolved.
Memories of Old Taipei
In the Twentieth-Century Taipei area, visitors will find a selection of photographs of Zhonghua Market that recall this vibrant period of Taipei’s history. Also on display are classic clocks from the 1930s, part of the Taipei City Archive collection, along with audio recordings provided by Lin Benbo that lead visitors back in time to the buying and selling and entertainment culture of old Ximending.
Also on display in this area is Hong Yinan’s “Molan”. Hong was born in Qing-era Bangka and won wide renown for his poetry and calligraphy. He was the animating force behind the Ying Society, one of Taiwan’s three major poetry societies, and today his masterworks are precious components of the Taipei City Archive collection.
Parts of the original Bangka Longshan Temple, taken into conservation in September 2014, give visitors a better understanding of the original structure of the temple and its intimate relationship with the area’s residents and urban development.
Special Exhibition Venues
129 & 131 Guangzhou Street
Opening hours are 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday to Sunday (closed Monday)
For further information on events and to register, go to the Taipei City Archives website at http://www.chr.gov.taipei, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/dwiwt2017/.