Ju Ming Museum 朱銘美術館: Sculpting Memories
I’m always impressed at the quality and diversity of Taiwan’s museums. Some people find museums to be too droll, but I love exploring them. The Ju Ming Museum 朱銘美術館 in New Taipei City may sound like a typical art museum at first, but it is a far cry from many others. The museum houses the sculptures and artwork of Taiwanese sculptor Ju Ming, whose career has spanned nearly 50 years. In that time, he has created hundreds of sculptures from bronze, metal, stone, and probably dozens of other materials. Not only are the pieces ambitious and stunning, but the museum also serves as a nice outdoor activity on a clear day. Check out more info after the jump.
The museum celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. It was largely funded by Ju Ming himself. Can you imagine creating a museum dedicated to only your work? I believe many of us would be humbled. No so much Ju Ming, whose works dwarf that of many artists in terms of scope and quantity. I admit I knew little about the man before I came to this museum. He is an easy person to admire after learning more about him and laying eyes on his creations. He has several notable series of works, such as “Tai Chi” in which blocky, almost abstract figures engage in the martial art and “Living World” which depicts the daily life of different types of people. Sports and the armed forces were the major parts of the Living World series on display when I visited the museum.
The museum is fairly secluded on a mountain in Jinshan District. Many of the pieces are quite large and on display outside, which makes it a great place to visit if the weather is nice. There are large open grassy areas, including an obligatory lotus pond. There are two main buildings with rotating exhibits. One of the exhibits was about the museum itself, fitting considering this is the 10 year anniversary. Others discuss Ju Ming’s life and showcase some of his earlier works.
As I mentioned before, the most prominent exhibits on display were the Tai Chi and Living World Armed Forces series. Both were a sight to behold. The humongous, yet somehow graceful, tai chi statues were possibly my favorite. They were minimalist, yet still had an aura of energy surrounding them. The Armed Forces series was incredible in terms of sheer scope. There were hundreds of individual sculptures, each with their own unique touches. My pictures of the huge steel beam battleship didn’t come out very well, but trust me, it is stunning.
The Ju Ming Museum is definitely worth visiting. It’s inspiring to see one man’s vision on display. Check out some photos from my visit.
20842 No.2, Xishihu, Jinshan Dist., New Taipei City, Taiwan 20842新北市金山區西勢湖2號 (Take the North Coast Shuttle Bus from Tamsui MRT to Ju Ming Museum. Closed on Mondays).