New Director vows to take ‘Taiwanization’ approach to National Palace Museum

The official seeks to shed new light on the collection of NPM from Taiwanese perspective

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An antique of the NPM's collection (Photo by FB National Palace Museum)

An antique of the NPM's collection (Photo by FB National Palace Museum)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The newly-appointed National Palace Museum (NPM) Director Chen Chi-nan (陳其南) set out his vision for the development of one of Taiwan's most iconic cultural landmarks on July 16, pledging to adopt a "Taiwan-centric" approach.

In a talk with the media on the day of his inauguration, Chen made a case for the "reinterpretation" of National Palace Museum's collection, allowing visitors to see the artifacts in a new light, reported Central News Agency.   

Dismissing controversies surrounding NPM suggesting the objects were plundered from its Beijing counterpart, the director stressed that the museum belongs to Taiwan and that "national ideologies have nothing to do in the reverence for ancient civilizations."

"As an inheritor of a great amount of Chinese antiquities, Taiwan should shoulder the responsibility of preserving the historic treasure for the world," Chen was quoted as saying.

Taking the Jadeite Cabbage (翠玉白菜), a signature jade carving, as an example, National Palace Museum Deputy Director Lee Ching-hwi (李靜慧) elaborated on the concept of "Taiwanization of National Place Museum." She said that the museum will seek to refocus on the historical context relevant to the artwork as an object of a dowry, rather than spotlighting the delicateness of the carving.

Chen reckoned that he will also seek to transform the southern branch of NPM in Chiayi into a museum celebrating Asian cultures, while working to strike a balance between emphasizing creative cultural merchandise and cherishing the essence of NPM as a guardian of traditions, CNA wrote.  

National Palace Museum Director Chen Chi-nan (Photo by CNA)