2nd Floor, Exhibition Room E
Chien A-tao was a regularly recurring character in the works of celebrated Taiwanese novelist Yeh Shih-tao (1925-2008). Chien, like Yeh, was born into a landholding family in the southern city of Tainan during the Japanese Colonial Period (1895-1945), absorbed Tainan’s contemporary cultural mores, and was swept up in the period’s contemporary Western fashions. After the war and Taiwan’s transfer to Republic of China (ROC) control, both Chien and Yeh lived through the White Terror period and experienced internal crises and struggles that ultimately awakened their subjective consciousness. Although their youthful dreams were irreparably dashed, Chien and Yeh kept the embers of idealism flickering in the more private corners of their otherwise unassuming lives. Yeh’s semi-autobiographical short story Son of Taiwan – Chien A-Tao is today one of the author’s most recognized works. In his simple, realistic style of writing, author Yeh Shih-tao narrates how his protagonist Chien A-tao suffers for his ideals and describes Chien’s everyday torment, distress, and resilience. Chien A-tao’s story reflects not only Yeh’s experience but also the experience of countless learned contemporaries of the author who similarly shared Yeh’s desire to see postwar Taiwan emerge as an open, forward-looking, and confident new society. This exhibition of works donated by Yeh Shih-tao displays an extensive collection of the author’s literary works and items from his long and productive creative career in Tainan.
"The struggles of Chien A-tao mirror my own struggles. You could even say that Chien A-tao is a projection of myself." Preface to Son of Taiwan - Chien A-Tao, Shih-tao Yeh
We hope that your own special memories with Yeh Shih-tao both echo and further amplify Tainan’s abiding charms.
1. Let windows frame your perspective on Tainan. Whether a brick wall draped in forest-green leaves or a narrow alley winding into the distance, images such as these indelibly form and shape our impressions of this picturesque town.
2. Write down your thoughts about what you see on a card.
3. When you have finished, you are welcome to either take your card home as a souvenir or post it on the exhibition’s memory wall to share with the NMTL and other visitors.
Last Updated on 2019-04-10