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Cross-Boundary Dream Pursuers: Taiwanese Painters’ Trajectories in Foreign Countries during the Japanese Colonial Period

On the Open House day in 2018, the Archives of the Institute of Taiwan History featured an exhibition, Travel Memories II—Taiwanese Painters’ Landscape Sketches, from digital records collected by the Archives in recent years. This exhibition selected four Taiwanese painters, Yen Shui-long, Liu Chi-hsiang, Chen Cheng-po, and Kuo Hsueh-hu, by presenting the records of their passports, certificates, photographs, correspondence, and paintings and exploring their life experiences of practicing goals, embarking on adventures abroad, and contributing to society. Let us trace the senior painters’ paths of crossing borders and pursuing dreams by appreciating these precious records and the abundant colors in their paintings!

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Taiwan in the Eyes of a Western Traveler--John Thomson’s Footprints in Formosa
Taiwan in the Eyes of a Western Traveler--John Thomson’s Footprints in Formosa

John Thomson (1837-1921) is regarded as a pioneering photographer in the 19th century. He traveled to Far East, documenting the portraits, landscapes and eastern cultures profoundly through his lens and these photographs have become precious historical records. Although John Thomson only stayed in Taiwan for a few days, the images and notes he left are valuable historical materials for the research into Taiwan in the 1870s. His story could be comparable to Shen Bao-zhen, one of the figures in 「Traveling in Time 」Exhibition. They were the travelers who came to Taiwan in the same time period. Through their stories, we can learn how they interpret Formosa in the 19th century.


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