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Photo exhibition re-enters Bo-Pi-Liao’s forgotten past

Chen Pi-yun, left, shows a photo of her taken 40 years ago in front of a TV set.A special photo exhibition currently on display at the Bo-Pi-Liao Old Street area offers a rare opportunity for both young and senior visitors to revisit the glory of the historical place.

The exhibition features a total of 160 old photos collected from Bo-Pi-Liao residents. Some of the archive photos date back to a hundred years ago. Bo-Pi-Liao is the only street in Taipei that still maintains the architecture style of the Qing Dynasty.

Hsieh Hsiao-yun, director of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government, said about 600,000 visitors were drawn to Bo-Pi-Liao since it was renovated last August. Many of the similar historical sites in Taiwan may have been demolished, but Taipei City Government preserves the area because of its human aspect and because such a historical space matters more than material wealth, she added.

Hsieh said the city government stages the exhibition to create a channel for visitors to travel in time. The city government received very positive responses when it collected old photos from local citizens.

Chen Pi-yun, whose father had a cigarette shop at Bo-Pi-Liao, provided a photo taken more than 40 years ago of her in front of a television set.

Chen said that four decades ago, TV was a very rare commodity and there were only three TVs in the Wanhua area at that time. She said she was very happy that the photo exhibition took place in her hometown, bringing back memories of her childhood.

The photo exhibition is divided into six themes, with photos showing the customs, culture, transformation, and daily life of the local dwellers.

In addition to the static exhibition, there are six electronic photo frames for viewers to interact with the modern technology.

The department has also invited two cultural workers Chuang Yung-ming and Kao Chuan-chi to give lectures and guided tours to visitors interested in knowing more about the history of Wanhua.

The photo exhibition will remain on view until September 15. It opens Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Please call (02)2356-0222 for more detailed information about the exhibition.