Monday, March 31, 2008

More on the Chiang Kai-Shek legacy

I'd read that today was the last day of an exhibition at the newly re-named Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall - formerly the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. I'd meant to visit for some time - especially to view the amazing kites hanging in the hall, made by Taiwan kite master, Buteo Huang.

Later tonight they and other exhibition materials displaying events in the journey along the island's democratisation, will be dismantled. Leaving just the statue of the former late President Chiang Kai-shek standing in the main hall

The kites are going to be displayed in the US; the exhibition boards will tour various universities in Taiwan. The display was designed to mark the 60th anniversary of what's known as the 228 or February 28 Incident as well as the 20th anniversary of the lifting of martial law.
The election of Ma Ying-jeou is once again raising debate in the media about the fate of the hall...will it be renamed again? restoring its original name?

In December, the characters to the monument and those above the main gate to the square were removed...and changed to ones reading "National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall" and "Liberty Square."

The memorial hall was built in 1980.

But President-elect Ma Ying-jeou - who says he considers the name-change invalid, is also speaking quite cautiously on the issue. He says whether the hall will revert to its former name will require further evaluation and that the issue will only be decided after consensus had been reached.


Anonymous said...

I was born in 1960 and Chiang is an enormous presence in textbooks, schools, streets, songs, and public houses; the blanket is so gigantic that almost everywhere you can sense it and almost all people subdue silently like the surreal and bizarre manifestation of Kim’s Dynasty in North Korea today.

Chiang’s presence is not proportionally projected in the history of Taiwan and if Ma is smart enough, hopefully he is, he should thank DPP’s endeavor which paves the way of ridding such ridicule of the capital’s horizon.

The presence of Chiang’s stature is for sightseeing and remembering, the removal of those kites shall be replaced by something that reflects the smaller version of the Auschwitz and The Gulag that shared almost by all human civilization.

Ma’s handling of this issue is the thermometer of incumbent KMT, and can foretell his personal future in the next decade.

Anonymous said...

You should look the other side of this guy's contribution to Taiwan. Without him, you now see Mao as your god! Don't you appreciate what you have today?