Ju Ming Museum 朱銘美術館: Sculpting Memories

Hundreds of incredible sculptures await at the Ju Ming Museum 朱銘美術館 in New Taipei City.

Hundreds of incredible sculptures await at the Ju Ming Museum 朱銘美術館 in New Taipei City.

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.

A fairly humble sign for such a grand museum.

A fairly humble sign for such a grand museum.

A series of stone sculptures.  Sign boards describe the great difficulty in taking care of stone art.

A series of stone sculptures. Sign boards describe the great difficulty in taking care of stone art.

A very acrobatic ribbon dancer.

A very acrobatic ribbon dancer.

Soldiers march... but to where?

Soldiers march… but to where?

War takes its toll on many.

War takes its toll on many.

All of the statues are unique in their appearance.

All of the statues are unique in their appearance.

A temple looms over the soldiers.

A temple looms over the soldiers.

A soldier with the Taiwanese flag.

A soldier with the Taiwanese flag.

One of the largest and most awe-inspiring pieces on display.

One of the largest and most awe-inspiring pieces on display.

Amazing balance.

Amazing balance.

This was one of the more popular tai chi statues, with many trying to mimic the pose.

This was one of the more popular tai chi statues, with many trying to mimic the pose.

Can you tell which swans are statues?

Can you tell which swans are statues?

Metal people wade through the pond.

Metal people wade through the pond.

If you want to run around, here is the place to do it.

If you want to run around, here is the place to do it.

If you're tired, why not share a bench with a metal friend?

If you’re tired, why not share a bench with a metal friend?

Sculptures parachute in.

Sculptures parachute in.

You can see a cemetery above the silver grass.

You can see a cemetery above the silver grass.

Another poorly angled shot of the ship.

Another poorly angled shot of the ship.

The ship is truly gigantic.

The ship is truly gigantic.

Sailors wonder how they came across land.

Sailors wonder how they came across land.

You can also see some great views from certain parts of the museum.

You can also see some great views from certain parts of the museum.

Everyone eagerly lined up.

Everyone eagerly lined up.

How many people can you find?

How many people can you find?

A giant zipper reveals dying lotuses.

A giant zipper reveals dying lotuses.

Just try to unzip this.

Just try to unzip this.

Location

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).

Website

About taiwanaut

I'm an American living in Taiwan. Follow my posts about Taiwan on taiwanaut.com!

Posted on December 3, 2014, in Art, Museums, New Taipei City and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: