Taiwan Fun Magazine, December 2003


Juming Museum

By Ken Lin Translated by Yvonne Chen

     The only outdoor sculpture museum in Taiwan, Juming Museum is located in picturesque Jinshan, an hour's drive from Taipei City. Its vast grounds (around 32,000 ping) feature spacious outdoor exhibition areas that allow visitors to get up close to the artworks on display. The architecture, landscape design, and gardening were all carried out or overseen by Juming himself.

     I've always liked Juming's Tachi artwork. His work lets you feel a "chi" from within. And to be able to see thirty odd works by Juming displayed together at Tachi Plaza, you'll feel a majestic strength that seems--momentarily at least--to stop time in its tracks. The graceful poses transport you into the world of Tachi. Juming's simple and sharp slices create an abstract, unwavering motion in these poised sculptures. Their great force can be felt from any angle. The sculptures seem fused into the surrounding scenery; you forget yourself in this ultimate state of heaven, earth, landscape, object and man as one.

     The Human Plaza gives off a different feel. It is Juming's latest creation, and takes bits and pieces from human lives. Seemingly minimal lines embody rich human emotion. Simple facial features and postures reflect our experiences and sentiments. We are given a tool to converse with the sculptures, reminisce, and realize "this is life."
Art doesn't have to be distant. On warm days you can soak you feet in the shallow water of the Wading Zone, and play amongst Juming's sculptures. The children love it. On the other side, the blooming lotuses also have some cooling effect.

     With the blue sky, light breeze, sunshine, and distant mountains, the swans swim in leisure in the glistening Swan Pond. The children argue over whether the swans are real while the adults relax.

     While nearly 80 percent of the sculptures displayed here are outside in natural surroundings, Juming Museum also has two interior exhibition spaces. The Museum Collection Hall features works by Buffet, Picasso, Andy Warhol, Milo, Liao Ji-chun, Kuo Po-chuan, Yang Shan-liang, Hung Jui-lin, and other sculptors. The Museum Main Hall features Juming's wooden carvings and plane pieces with a section devoted to works by Juming's two teachers, Lee Jing-chuan and Yang Yin-feng.

     Juming's eldest son, Ju Chun, is also a renowned sculptor. His famous Zipper Series works can be see at the museum's outdoors exhibition space. Works such as Zipper Lotus Pond, Zipper Stone, and Zipper Tent add a sense of amusement to the museum.

     The museum becomes even more alive with the Art Performance Zone, used by performance art groups. The combination of still and moving art gives visitors an enriched experience, as well as another reason for a repeat visit.

     To bring the art back with you, pick up a souvenir at the gift shop. The two dining areas let visitors feast in a natural, artistic environment. Just sitting quietly in the gazebo or in the chairs by the sculptures is pure joy.

     Visit the mountainside Juming Museum, roam through the artworks and endless green grass, experience the majestic presence of Juming's sculptures, and feel the confluence of nature and man. It is an unforgettable experience, and always well worth the trip. Drive or take the 8:40 am or 1:10 pm Art Bus from Taipei Fine Arts Museum.