|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Sunday, March 18, 2018
|After Twenty-Seven Years and $45 Million, Taiwan Restores Ornate 19th Century Mansion |
Restored ornate carvings and paintings line rooftops of the famed 150-year-old Lin Family Mansion in the town of Wufeng, Taiwan. The Lin Family Mansion, a complex of five buildings on 7.4 acres, is one of Taiwan's most important historical sites, a rare example of the ornate architectural style favored by nobles from southern China in the waning years of the Qing dynasty. AP Photo/Wally Santana.
By: Annie Huang, Associated Press
WUFENG (AP).- Twenty-seven years in the making, the $45 million renovation of a 150-year-old Taiwanese homestead is finally nearing completion. The Lin Family Mansion a complex of five buildings on 7.4 acres (3 hectares) is one of Taiwan's most important historical sites, a rare example of the ornate architectural style favored by nobles from southern China in the waning years of the Qing dynasty.
The renovation has been a painstaking process, with workers facing a variety of challenges not least a devastating earthquake to return the 19th-century structures to their original glory.
The complex in Wufeng, an hour by high-speed rail from Taipei, is expected to open to the public at the end of 2011. It sits near a scenic mountain and a lake retreat. Members of the Lin family still live in the mansion and will share their quarters with what the government expects will be an onslaught of tourists.
A family of unrivaled wealth and political influence in central Taiwan, the Lins began building their homestead in 1858.
Like many early immigrants to the island off China's coast, the ancestors of the Lin family arrived from Fujian province in southern China. To construct their homes they brought workers from their native province as well as building materials including cedar wood and large slabs of granite.
The main structure in the original complex the Gongbao Official Residence was built by military strongman General Lin Wen-cha, who gained fame leading militiamen against pirates in Taiwan and then, on the Chinese mainland, fighting rebel forces in the Taiping Rebellion. Lin died there in battle in 1864, and his son also a general completed the homestead's construction.
The Gongbao Official Residence consisted of five courtyards and 108 rooms a scale reserved for top officials. It was characterized by elaborately painted and meticulously carved doors, with pillars extending up to the ceilings. The main reception area was adorned by impressive portraits, beautiful calligraphic scrolls and other high end works of art.
A central element in the residence was an exquisite theater and a grand banquet hall, which served as the center of the Lin family's social life.
Though Lins continued to live in the complex, through the Japanese occupation of the island and the Nationalist Party takeover in 1945, decades of neglect had reduced it to a shadow of its former self by the 1960s. Today, the mansion is the largest 19th-century structure left on the island.
Renovation work funded by the government began in 1984.
When work began, the theater, whose wooden beams locked seamlessly without nuts and bolts, was in ruins. Lai Chih-chang, a member of the National Taiwan University team that took the lead in the restoration, said he had no idea how to replicate its former glory.
But in the attic of one of the houses, he found three dusty trunks containing glass negatives of the original structures that enabled architects to draw up a plan.
The restored theater features the original's upward sloping roof and a raised platform with gilded, intricate wood carvings. Under the ceiling is a multilayered, octagonal dome that projects the building's acoustics from stage to audience.
Lai said the restoration has helped preserve an important regional style.
"This is the one mansion that has integrated various building arts in southern China," he said.
The project was nearly abandoned following a 7.6-magnitude earthquake that hit central Taiwan in 1999, when the work was nearly complete. The government wanted out, but architects and art lovers intervened, and the work continued, with additional government funding.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.
August 1, 2011
Living Room Installation at The Jewish Museum Evokes Everyday Life in 1930s Berlin
National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago's South Loop Battles for Survival
Propaganda Posters of Soviet Union on View for First Time in Six Decades at the Art Institute
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to Unveil Linde Family Wing with 24 Hours of Celebration
Santa Clara University's de Saisset Museum Explores Homelessness from the New Deal to the Present
Singapore's Pop and Contemporary Fine Art Celebrates the Artwork of Yayoi Kusama
MoMA PS 1 to Look at Art from the Past 50 Years from a Post 9/11 Perspective
Forty-Five Magnificent Landscape Paintings on View at Peabody Essex Museum
After Twenty-Seven Years and $45 Million, Taiwan Restores Ornate 19th Century Mansion
Goodwood Pays Tribute to The Horse Collaborating with Tim Flach for the Annual Summer Exhibition
Gwangju Biennale Foundation Announces Six Young Asian Women as Joint Artistic Directors
The Spectacular of Vernacular on View at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston
MOVE: Art and Dance Since the 60s on View at Stiftung Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen
Early U.S. Coinage Experiments, Proof Rarities Lead Heritage U.S. Coin Auction In Chicago
Distillery to Make South Carolina's First Legal Moonshine; will Include a Museum
Travel Picks: Online Travel Adviser Cheapflights Offers Its Top Ten Museum Destinations
Aspen Art Museum Presents an Exhibition of New Works by Internationally Renowned Artist Haegue Yang
CAM Raleigh Presents First U.S. Museum Show of Commissioned Works by Artist Rebecca Ward
Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection to Present "Good as Gold: America's Double Eagles"
Rare Packard Tops RM's Sale at the Concours d'Elegance of America at St. John's
Germany's Pergamon Museum Returns Ancient Sphinx of Hattusa to Its Home in Turkey
Philanthropist Ruth Perelman, a Major Donor to Institutions in the City of Philadelphia, Dies at 90
Brooklyn's Bushwick Neighborhood Quickly Becomes World-Class Arts Mecca
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- The Morgan explores the Medieval world's fascinating approach to the passage of time
2.- Experts discover hidden ancient Maya structures in Guatemala
3.- Egyptian archaeologists unveil tomb of Old Kingdom priestess Hetpet
4.- The Speed Art Museum and Italian Ministry reach loan agreement on ancient calyx-krater
5.- Major exhibition features artistic masterpieces from the glorious Church of the Gesù
6.- From Beowulf to Chaucer, the British Library makes 1,000 years of rich literary history freely available online
7.- Truck damages Peru's ancient Nazca lines
8.- Trish Duebber is new Coordinator of Youth Programs at Boca Raton Museum Art School
9.- Exhibition examines the way art, like language, was used to articulate a rhetoric of exclusion
10.- The Dallas Museum of Art announces gift of three major European works
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.