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HOME > NORTH TAIWAN > TAIPEI > ARTS & LEISURE >
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Taiwan Fun Magazine, August 2003   

Su Ho Memorial Paper Culture Foundation

By Ken Lin
Translated by Kevin Lax

       From the time we wear our first diaper as a baby, we have a close relationship with paper in various forms, perhaps without us realizing. It has become part of our lives; since it was invented human civilization has been unable to leave paper behind. The Su Ho Memorial Paper Culture Foundation is Taiwan's first paper museum, and gives us a deeper understanding of this great invention.

       Su Ho is located on ChangAn East Road, Section 2, one of the city's older streets. The small building used to be an old-style terraced house, but the efforts of a skilled architect using ultra-simple design concepts have filled the building with shadow, and make it seem bigger than it actually is. The exhibitions' introductory text is clear and simple and is entirely bilingual, allowing people from around the world to enjoy the beauty of Chinese paper art.

      The "hand-worked paper art area" on the first floor is a living classroom. From the second floor the visitor gets a bird's eye view of the various stages in the paper art process.

       The second-floor display area also tells the history of paper. We read about the kind of plant fiber sheets used before paper was invented and the papyrus used 5000 years ago by the Egyptians. There is also information about the paper invented by Cai Lun in China in the 1st century AD, and its spread westward. The story goes all the way to an 18th century wood paper machine invented by the French, and mechanized paper production in the 19th century. It's a complete lesson in the development of paper. On the balcony on the second floor grow various types of plants often used in papermaking.

      The third-floor display tells us how to recycle paper to save resources. There is also a display on the history of paper making in Taiwan, featuring a 600-kilogram grinding stone that was pulled by an ox in the old days of bamboo papermaking in Taiwan. The "laboratory" has a question and answer box which answers visitor queries about paper. You can also feel the texture of tree bark, pulp and various paper products in the "touch, touch" game. Through these tests visitors learn a lot more about paper.

       Now you know more about paper art, on the fourth floor they can see how raw paper is prepared, by soaking, steaming and bleaching, in the "handmade-paper factory." Then you visit the "paper art teaching area," where you can try your hand at paper art, after which you will receive a certificate and complete your rewarding journey through this genre. If this is not enough to satisfy your craving for paper art, then before you leave you can buy some exquisite paper art works from the museum shop. After a visit to this museum, you'll certainly feel different about paper.

-Su Ho Memorial Paper Museum
68 ChangAn East Rd, Sec 2
(02) 2507-5539 (visits have to be arranged in advance)
Opening: 9:30 am-4: 30 pm. Closed on Sundays.

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