Daxi Wood Art Ecomuseum(大溪木藝生態博物館)
If you visit Daxi, you will catch glimpses of its over-two century old history in every corner. Since 1810, the woodworking industry has taken root here, and after two hundred years of development, you can still find many woodworking shops and lumber mills today on Heping Old Street, Kangzhuang Road, Xinyi Road, and Yunlin road; it is still one of the major woodworking centers in Taiwan. In addition, after Daxi's restructuring in 1901, the Dakekan Subprefecture was established here. On Puji Road, a series of police dormitories were built to form a unique police living environment, which also serves as a testament to Daxi's century old police culture and history.
Based on the concept of integrating local communities with the preservation of cultural assets, Daxi Wood Art Ecomuseum introduced two core themes, the "Daxi Wood Art Industry" and "Daxi Resident Lifestyle". Public buildings are being renovated, these include the martial arts training center Butokuden and a cluster of 22 Japanese style buildings. The buildings are renovated in different stages according to their age, which will also incorporate the local historical streets and houses to convert Daxi to a cultural museum.
Currently, the first museum open to public is called the "No. One Hall"; it is a Japanese style elevated house constructed in the 1920s, and was also the residence for the headmaster of Daxi Elementary School. The previous owner of the house was an English teacher named Chen Mao-Lin from Daxi Junior High School, his wife, Mrs. Chen-Wang Cui-Wu used to teach tailoring classes at the house. The banner hung high up above the front door that reads "Xiguang Tailoring Class" brings back lots of memories for the women of Daxi. Converted from a private residence to a public space, this old house has been imbued with new life.
To recreate the past glory of Daxi's wood crafting, the No. One Hall has retained its wooden Japanese style exterior; its exhibits are focused on the theme of "wood crafting", which include wooden artwork, food, religion, and other common daily lifestyle culture. On the outside are wooden benches in the design of Daxi Old Street decorated archway created by "Xinyuqing Woodenware". On the inside are new wooden tables and chairs created by "Xieda Woodenware". Interactive audio-visual guides are provided to recount the history and culture of Daxi from the past to the present.
Apart from the cultural history found in the museum itself, if you have enough time, leave the museum and visit the corner house museums located inside the alleys. There are nine corner house museums working in collaboration with the museum to provide visitors with a guided tour of Daxi's local arts. Each of these corner house museums provide a themed exhibition, such as the Dawenxigua Art Center, Xinyuqing Woodenware, Xieda Woodenware, Lower Street Number 40 Studio, and Xiesheng Woodenware which can be found on Heping Old Street. Also, at the end of Daxi Old Street is the century-old Daxi Zhongzheng Park. Inside the park are the ruins of the Daxi Shinto Shrine from the Japanese colonial era. Go through the park to the other side and you will discover Daxi Artist Villa (guesthouses of Chiang Kai-Shek). The park contains the "Assembly Hall" and "guesthouse of Chiang Kai-Shek", both are full of unique features. Explore Daxi's streets and alleys and witness the recreating of its past glories.
- Introductory Lecture
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