Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • The National Palace Museum in Taiwan is the pride of the nation

  • and the approach up to the museum sets the tone for the treasures that wait inside.

  • The collection here covers 8000 years of Chinese history

  • from the Neolithic to the modern era

  • and it's the largest collection of Chinese artefacts and artworks in the entire world.

  • You enter the grounds through a large archway

  • and the walk up the path gives plenty of time to reflect

  • on the dramatic way this place came to be.

  • The museum itself has as interesting a past as any of the nearly 700,000 artefacts it houses

  • because this massive collection hasn't always been in Taipei.

  • In 1948, during the panic of the Chinese Civil War,

  • the collection was evacuated from China's Forbidden City

  • in an effort to keep these precious objects safe.

  • It's this large scale relocation from China to Taiwan

  • that gave birth to the creation of the National Palace Museum in 1965.

  • Artefacts here rarely leave the premises due to fear that they'll be seized.

  • General admission is 350 Taiwan Dollars or just under $15 CAD.

  • We got our tickets and a guide map

  • and put our bags in one of the free lockers.

  • I love that the locker room, which could easily be a boring, sterile place

  • is seen as yet another surface to display art.

  • The permanent collection here is on a three month rotation

  • because there's simply not enough room to display everything at once.

  • But you can always find the museum's most famous and popular piece.

  • Like the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, the pride and joy of the National Palace Museum is

  • a cabbage.

  • Specifically a cabbage made of Jadeite.

  • It's in a sectioned off area protected by guards.

  • The craftsman who made the cabbage followed the natural colours of the jadeite

  • turning the green part into leaves and the white part into stems.

  • It's only about 7.5 by 3.5 inches big

  • so, if you don't look carefully, you could miss the grasshoppers delicately carved on it.

  • Next to the cabbage is the stand it originally sat in, which has a wood carving of a spirit fungus.

  • Cabbage and spirit fungus represent longevity and auspiciousness,

  • all pointing to the fact that this non-living plant will remain eternally fresh.

  • In direct competition with the cabbage

  • for the museum's most beloved and popular artefact iswait for it

  • a piece of pork.

  • Well, technically it's a rock that looks like a piece of pork.

  • It's literally called the Meat-Shaped Stone.

  • It looks like a piece of braised pork belly

  • but it's made of a mineral called branded jasper that has naturally occurring layers.

  • And the craftsman used that to advantage

  • to stain the layers from top to bottom with darker to lighter shades of brown

  • which makes it look like a fatty piece of meat stewed in soy sauce.

  • After spending time in Taiwan's foodie culture

  • and understanding how much people here appreciate good food,

  • it makes perfect sense that the two big ticket museum pieces

  • are actually pieces of food.

  • One of my favourite things I saw at the museum is a long hand scroll of ink and colours on silk

  • that's been brought to life through animation.

  • It's called Spring Dawn in the Han Palace and it's nearly 19 feet long.

  • The National Palace Museum has been digitizing their entire collection since 1988,

  • so it's not surprising to see technology used so effectively in the exhibition here.

  • You can look down at the scroll, which is over 500 years old,

  • and then look up and see what the inspiration for that scene would have looked like in real life.

  • There's so much to see here from furniture

  • to sculptures

  • to jewelry and hair pins.

  • It's mind blowing to think of how many thousands of years of human history

  • are represented by what you're seeing.

  • I'm always impressed, too, with how things that are so old

  • can sometimes feel so contemporary at the same time.

  • For example, this series of paintings shows men doing different physical exercises

  • and, to me at least, they don't feel that far off of a more modern style.

  • Or sometimes old designs look like prototypes for inventions within my own lifetime:

  • like these objects that kind of look like CDs

  • but were actually used in ceremonies like proposing marriage.

  • Other highlights of the museum for me

  • were a lotus flower that opens up to reveal tiny little Buddhas inside,

  • a duck-shaped spoon holder,

  • a bird that looks like a golden phoenix,

  • and a painted pottery figure dating back to 8 BCE.

  • With its giant collection, the National Palace Museum

  • is well worth visiting to find your own highlights.

  • And since displays rotate every few months,

  • you never know quite what treasure you're going to find.

  • Except the cabbage and the meat rockthey're always there.

  • And if you visit the museum on an empty stomach, I suggest leaving them until the end

  • when you can head straight to a great meal somewhere in Taipei.

  • Speaking of which, we've made a whole series of videos about visiting Taiwan,

  • including a bunch of delicious foods, drinks, and desserts,

  • so check the description box for more.

  • Like this video if you enjoyed it, which I hope you did,

  • and subscribe for more travel adventures.

  • Thanks for watching!

The National Palace Museum in Taiwan is the pride of the nation

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 US museum cabbage palace collection taiwan national

Discovering 8000 Years of Treasure in Taiwan

  • 640 35
    佳萱 posted on 2018/09/03
Video vocabulary