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Two exhibitions on Wanhua historical treasures

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A space for herbs in the first exhibition. DOCA Photo

By Yali Chen
Taipei City’s Department of Cultural Affairs (DOCA) held two special exhibitions at the Longshan Creative Hub in Wanhua District from November 27 through December 13 to celebrate the annual religious event – the “Qingshan King Rituals.”
In the first exhibition “Bangka Crossover 2020” (2020艋舺拼場), 10 groups of local traditional and newly created brands were invited to show viewers how they protect traditional culture and seek innovation at the same time.

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Metalwork items. DOCA Photo

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A cabinet for herbs. DOCA Photo

This was the second year for the DOCA to hold such an exhibition. The ten brands come from five sectors in the Wunha area, including printing, hairdressing, metalwork, embroidery, and herbs. The showcase aims to convey the spirit of craftsmanship.
For example, the Dong Xin Printing House (東鑫印刷廠) was founded by Hong Dong-han (洪東漢) at the age of 30. The 14-year-old boy became a printing apprentice. Three years later, he was a seasoned veteran in the world of letterpress printing.
The advancements of computers and digital printing forced many local printing companies out of business, except Hong’s printing house. In the past half century, his printing company has witnessed the rise and fall of the letterpress printing industry in Taiwan and protected traditional cultural assets for future generations.
The second exhibition – “Belief of Creation at the Longshan Creative Hub” (創作的信仰-龍山文創基地限時展) – focused on traditional beliefs in Wanhua, especially the Qingshan King Rituals. The exhibition features Taiwanese religious and folk stories with the techniques of fluorescent comics.

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Belief in Creation Exhibition, this exhibit on Taiwanese religious and folk stories,
uses fluorescent illumination.
DOCA Photo
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Vintage items in the Belief in Creation exhibition. DOCA Photo

The Qingshan King Rituals, more commonly known as “the Grand Worship of Bangka,” is one of the three major temple festivals in Taipei City. A series of pilgrimages and religious activities are held from Oct. 20 to 23 of the lunar calendar annually.
During the exhibition, artists from the Taipei Comic Artist Labor Union (台北市漫畫從業人員職業工會) used fluorescent skills to interpret the Qingshan King pilgrimages and ritualized martial performing arts. The integration of new comic art styles and local folk beliefs can help viewers to better understand the history of Wanhua and explore hidden treasures in Wanhua.