Taiwanese Chinese Studies - Temple Style and Immigrant Identity
Temple Style and Immigrant Identity: Yinshan Temple in Early 19th-century Tamsui
Dr. Fang-Mei Chen
Professor, Graduate Institute of Art History
National Taiwan University
Temples in Taiwan have, in recent years, become a research focus for scholars, especially those in the social anthropology and architectural history fields. The ancient people in Taiwan used such natural resources as wood, stone, and earth and transformed them through ingenious techniques and special placement into works of art and, more importantly, into sacred spaces for the gods they worshiped. These temples tell a story between art and religion, the economy, and society—with all sides exerting influence on one another. This lecture addresses this aspect by examining the Yinshan Temple in Tamsui, which is related to the Dingguang faith, a small religion among the Hakka that immigrated to Taiwan from Tingzhou, China during the 18th and 19th centuries.
This lecture will discuss visual and material vestige still preserved in the Yinshan temple and explain its hidden cultural meanings that can be seen through the lens of social art history.