Taiwan is global.

Looking at Taiwan historically or geographically, the importance of the ocean to Taiwan and the uniqueness it brings cannot be overstated.

In the fields of biogeography and genetics, the "Out of Taiwan Theory" – the theory that the Austronesian language family originated in Taiwan and spread along sea routes through Indonesia and New Guinea to Oceania – is supported by studies of paper mulberry trees.

Taiwan lies in a vertically distributed climate zone, with both warm and cold areas. A mix of continental and island species makes for an extremely diverse ecology, as well as many species unique to Taiwan. In the 19th century, the opening of four ports attracted Western scientists to Taiwan for collection and research purposes, and allowed Taiwan to enter the world stage of natural history. Thanks to the skilled work of taxidermists, many specimens have been well preserved, forming an important foundation for biological research and exhibitions.

Encircled by ocean, Taiwan has been a node for East Asian maritime trade and transport since as far back as the 17th century. In the Age of Exploration, the waters around Taiwan were full of masts and sails; shipbuilding, fishing, and trade flourished, driving economic growth; people's reverence for the sea entered the realm of religion; and the seafood harvested from the oceans helped establish a rich culinary culture.

Taiwan has always given artists inspiration and insight, from the Japanese colonial period, when Tsai Hsueh-hsi painted dragon boat races, Tan Teng-pho, Liao Chi-chun, and Yang San-lang depicted Tamsui seascapes, and Yen Shui-long painted the scenery of Yilan, up to the present day – this land and its oceans are still an inexhaustible wellspring of creativity for artists to draw from.

Taiwan is global. Like a message in a bottle, let's set off from Taiwan and set our dreams to sail far across the oceans.

2024/03/23 - 2025/03/23
Main Hall Gallery 4