12 January 2009

via China Digital Times, news that the premier museums of China and Taiwan may be getting back together. The National Palace Museum in Taipei is essentially the worlds longest touring exhibition, since its collection is pretty much everything Chiang Kai-Shek could fit on the boat with him when he left. That raises the question of whether any similar activities might take place at the Fujian - Taiwan Kinship Museum (闽台缘博物馆) in Quanzhou, Fujian. Southern Fujian is where the “native” Taiwanese (本省人) are predominantly from - “native” meaning Chinese whose ancestors migrated pre-1949, not the far smaller population of indigenous peoples. It’s the Southern Fujian dialect, Minnan, that is known as “Taiwanese”. Culturally there are vast similarities - Southern Fujian culture shares far more in common with Taiwan than with Northern Fujian (last night Quanzhou police were in full force against drunk drivers for the year-end employee dinner Wei Ya (尾牙), a Taiwanese mainstay as well - and the museum celebrates this, along with extremely blunt language about the political implications. Above is a slide show of some of the museum, including hometown art sensation (he of the Olympics fireworks) Cai Guo-Qiang’s firecracker painting and the historical narrative text throughout the museum.

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