The Museum of Ancient Taiwan Tiles

  • 04 November, 2018
  • John Van Trieste

Historical preservation comes in many flavors. Some people work to restore old paintings or conserve old books. There are trusts that maintain old buildings. And in Taiwan, there are even those devoted to preserving old tiles. In the early 20th century, colorfully-painted tiles were a status symbol in some parts of Asia, above all in Taiwan. Here, they loudly declared that a family had made its fortune. Over the past few decades, though, many of the homes that once proudly sported these tiles have faced demolition. The buildings may be beyond saving, but the tiles, at least, can be rescued. For around 20 years, one group of volunteers has been saving tiles from around Taiwan. In 2015, they even opened a museum, The Museum of Ancient Taiwan Tiles. Mr. Hsu is one of these volunteers. He’s here to introduce these tiles and explain what it was that got him hooked on them.