The Tainan Art Museum yesterday said that its “Asian Hell and Ghosts” exhibition is to commence as planned tomorrow, despite critics calling for it to be canceled.
The museum on Friday last week wrote on Facebook that it is to host the traveling exhibition, saying it has secured a collaboration with the presenter of the exhibit, the Paris-based Musee Du Quai Branly.
A promotional image with the post showed mannequins dressed as “hopping zombies.”
Photo courtesy of the Tainan Art Museum
Some comments on the post were critical:
“Taiwan has more than enough superstition without this Asian hell and zombies exhibit at our vaunted Tainan Art Museum,” one said, with another saying: “My kids will have nightmares if I take them there.”
However, other commenters were supportive.
“If we cancel an event every time religious extremists complain about it, what will happen to activities at the Tainan Confucius Temple?” one asked.
Tainan Art Museum director Lin Yu-chun (林育淳) yesterday said that the event would not be affected by Internet controversy.
The goal of the exhibition is to explore folk beliefs in popular culture, not to cause fear or superstition, Lin said, adding that the displays would include the cultural perspectives of Taiwan, China, Japan and Thailand.
The collaboration with the French museum is particularly meaningful, while the opening would mark the first-ever showing of the exhibition in Asia, she said.
The Tainan Art Museum said that the exhibition takes aim at fear and imagination surrounding the unknown over the centuries.
Some of Asia’s greatest works of art and literature were inspired by the strange and the supernatural, it said.
The exhibition has been localized to incorporate a Taiwanese perspective on the supernatural, creations by modern artists hailing from the country, and historical objects and documents on loan from other national museums, it said.
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