HOME | Chinese Version Login
Academia Sinica E-news No.361
Recent News
Congratulations to Academician Bor-ming Jahn being elected the 2014 JGS International Prize & “American Journal of Science” Is Publication of a two-part Special Issue in honor of his scientific accomplishment
Institute of Ethnology opens Exhibition of Anthropologists and Indigenous Studies in Taiwan from the 1950s to 1970s
Academic Activities
Academic Events
Annual Symposium on Leading Research of Mathematics & Physical Sciences in Academia Sinica (I)
Bulletin Board
Application for Admission to Academia Sinica Preschool in 2014
Lectures (May 01 - May 15)
Recent News >
Previous | Next | Back to E-News| Send to Friend
Institute of Ethnology opens Exhibition of Anthropologists and Indigenous Studies in Taiwan from the 1950s to 1970s

         The Institute of Ethnology today opened an exhibition showcasing the anthropologists and indigenous studies of Taiwan from the 1950s to the 1970s. The exhibition entitled “Sparks of Pluralism in an Authoritarian Era” runs from April 23, 2014 until the end of 2014, every Wednesday and Saturday. The exhibition is composed of a large amount of old photographs, official documents, scholars’ field notes and hand-drawings, artifacts and videos that are arranged using multimedia techniques and interactive designs to reconstruct vivid and lifelike scenes of anthropological fieldwork from the 1950s through to the 1970s. Through the exhibition the Institute hopes to illustrate how first and second generation Taiwan anthropologists pursued an understanding of indigenous cultures in an era when the attention of the majority of Taiwan society lay elsewhere.

         During the period covered by the exhibition, Taiwan was under martial law, and “modernization” was at the top of the government’s priority list. The ruling philosophy of the government at that time, continuing the “New Life Movement” of the ROC government during WWII, was to foster frugal and rational citizens. Meanwhile, ethnic policy emphasized “Sinicization” and “assimilation.” It was in this milieu that first and second generation anthropologists in Taiwan conducted their research among the Austronesian-language speaking indigenous peoples of Taiwan. Based on the theoretical training of the mid-20th century and honoring the intrinsic values of different peoples and cultures, these scholars upheld views that were at odds with the mainstream social atmosphere, as well as official government policy. They learned from the indigenous peoples about their culture through long-term ethnographic fieldwork and gave public speeches advocating understanding of and respect for indigenous cultures among the majority Han populace. It was these persistent efforts and the resulting accumulation of ethnographic literature that prepared the ground for the burgeoning cultural pluralism of Taiwan in the 1980s.

         Exhibits include a piece of Atayal fabric twilled with phrase “the Three Principles of People Saving the People and Retaking the Chinese Mainland” and a Paiwan low-relief wood plate of an armed man with two KMT party emblems above him, as well as a large quantity of photos, hand drawings, field notes, artifacts and official documents that illustrate the standard operating procedures of ethnographic fieldwork, the subtle tension between academic and national security, and the lives of villagers and fieldworkers of the day. Moreover, interviews of some senior scholars whose field memories are especially rare and precious today, are also presented in videos. The diaries and accounting items found in the field notes not only reveal different anthropological methodologies, interests and theologies among anthropologists, but also help visitors to become immersed in the lives of the scholars.

         The anthropologists’ academic writings have been transformed and simplified into a dynamic window view and notebooks on a desk, simplifying the anthropological ideas to appeal to a broader audience. In front of the window, visitors can see how these anthropologists ignited “the sparks of pluralism” in Taiwan society. Visitors are urged to sit down and leave their opinion about the quotations in the notebooks on an old desk to create a through-time-and-space conversation with the anthropologists.

         The exhibition has been organized by the Institute of Ethnology and is curated by Dr. Bien Chiang and Dr. Ts’ui-p’ing Ho, Associate Research Fellows of the Institute.

         For more information please visit:


Previous | Next | Back to E-News| Send to Friend

Best 2023 site www.findreplicawatches.is focus on Watches Best Replica, they offer the option of returning or exchanging items and warranty.
 © Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China All rights reserved. All text and images in this newsletter are the intellectual property of Academia Sinica.
The publication system for the Academia Sinica Newsletter was developed with the assistance of Academia Sinica’s Computing Center.