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【大龍峒走讀】UNESCO Award | DalongDong Baoan Temple, Taipei (Mural Paintings)


吉客鏈: 廟宇賞析 X 潘麗水壁畫 X UNESCO 獎項


"In 2003, DalongDong Baoan Temple won the award of UNESCO Cultural Heritage Preservation." The historical walking tour guide, Charles Lin, introduced its honorable achievement whilst we stood in front of the mural paintings at Baoan temple. The main reason for the UNESCO Award was the brilliant preservation of the mural paintings in 1996.

Appreciating a Temple as an Art Gallery

As the group took a loop tour around the temple, Lin highlighted the mural paintings. These were painted by one of finest temple folk artists, 潘麗水(Pan Li-Shuěi), whose meticulous painting illustrated some epic stories and folk legend of old China.

(Photo Credit | Chi Hsu)

On my last visit with little Albert, I noticed these stunning paintings. I knew I had to come again on my own.

(Photo Credit | Chi Hsu)

In 1973, there were seven paintings created in the outer corridor of the Main Hall, which made it like an outdoor gallery. Here I share some images (shown below):

(Photo Credit | Chi Hsu - Left: Yue Fei ; Right: Zhong Kui's married sister back home)

Although I knew these historical folk stories, it was fascinating to see how the artist composed the painting. Lin explained how the balance and correspondence between figures and elements. The finest techniques caused me to reflect on the similarity between meticulous and realist painting technique.

DalongDong Baoan Temple's Conservation Project

"The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation recognizes exemplary efforts by individuals and organizations to restore or conserve structures, places and properties of heritage value in the region. It encourages other property owners to undertake conservation projects within their communities, either independently or by seeking public-private partnerships." (Source: UNESCO web)

From year to year, the paintings deteriorated due to the incense smoke, the humidity, etc.. The board members of DalongDong Baoan Temple [Note 1] and its executive director, Liao Wu-Jyh, raised the conservation fund in 1995 and the restoration project lasted seven years. Australian specialists were invited to repair the mural paintings. (More introduction, click here )

(Photo Credit | Chi Hsu)

How to Observe a Temple

When you visit Taiwan, a cultural tour is highly recommended. Make sure you include one or two temples so as to appreciate 'Taiwan' as well as possible. It's not really about the religion, but the folk culture of the general public.

At a temple, you often to see the worshippers in prayer. There was a trendy lady in prayer while I passed the Main Hall. She presented her wishes sincerely for a long while. I hope her concerns have been eased.

A temple is always a comfort place for the general public.

(Photo Credit | Chi Hsu)

However, if you step into a temple, how should you observe it? Prof. Lee(李乾朗教授)is regarded as a Taiwanese heritage's leading researcher, who co-published a book - The Ultimate Guide to Historical Sites of Taiwan. It explains how to observe a temple, including some prospects below:

  • Temple's Architectural Layout

  • Temple's Space Circulation

  • Door Deities

  • Paintings

  • Stone Carvings

  • Dragon Pillars

  • Wood Carvings

  • Rooftop Craft Art Pieces

  • Host Deities

  • Plaques

And Also A Hidden Element

To renovate a temple, is a expert and high-technical project. Sometimes, a big renovation requires two master carvers to collaborate but also compete with each other. Upon this circumstance, one or the other master may like to show more carving technique on a hidden corner to impress people.

When we looked aorund the entrance hall's carved beans, Lin pointed out to a small figure with western dress. The master would like to present his modern idea of carving. Everyone laughed and was interested this hidden element.

(Photo Credit | Chi Hsu)

More to share

A temple has a lots to reveal, and to sense. As a heritage temple, DalongDong Baoan Temple contains all of the prospects Prof. Lee mentioned. So far, this travelogue had only discussed its paintings. There is more to follow.


【Note 1】(Source: WIKI) Dalongdong Baoan Temple (Chinese: 大龍峒保安宮; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tōa-lông-pōng Pó-an-kiong) also known as the Taipei Baoan Temple (臺北保安宮) is a Taiwanese folk religion temple built in the Datong District, Taipei, Taiwan. The present temple was originally built by clan members in Tong'an, Xiamen, Fujian, who immigrated to Taipei in the early 19th century and gave the temple the name Po-an (保安; Pó-an) in order to "protect those of Tong'an" (保佑同安). The Taipei Confucius Temple is located adjacent to the Baoan Temple.

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