Fun Magazine, August 2003
Ho Memorial Paper Culture Foundation
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.