The Imagined Island, Images of Taiwan, Taiwan Mambo

  • 07 October, 2018
  • John Van Trieste

If you’ve flown in or out of Taiwan’s main international gateway, Taoyuan International Airport, over the last two months, you might have noticed a collection of maps on display in Terminal Two. Ranging over centuries from the early modern period to our own time, these maps include a common element- Taiwan. This is “The Imagined Island, Images of Taiwan, Taiwan Mambo”, a curiously titled exhibit recently put on in the airport by the National Museum of Taiwan History. Just before the exhibit closed at the end of September, I managed to get in touch with the museum’s Hsiao Hsuan-chu, who prepared the text that accompanied the maps. He joins us today to discuss the imagination that went into mapping Taiwan in the past, to introduce some of the maps featured in the exhibit, and to explain the dancelike way Taiwan has moved on maps over time.