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A New Era of Modern Art at NTHU
Many top universities around the world have an on-campus art gallery, such as Princeton in the U.S., and before long NTHU will also have one. Thanks to a major donation from alumnus Hsieh Hong-liang, a world-class art museum will soon be built next to the large lawn on the south side of the campus; it will be named the Hsieh Hong-liang Museum of Modern Art, and will be the first of its kind in Taiwan.
 
A futuristic museum and a new landmark
 
The Museum has been designed by a team of architects led by Kuo Hsu-yuan and Effie Huang to have the appearance of three boxes rising out of the greenery opposite the Tsinghua Laboratory. The building will be situated on a gentle slope and will be reminiscent of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The Museum is expected to be completed in 2022 and is destined to become a new landmark in Hsinchu and beyond.
 
The earth-colored Museum will have two-stories above ground and one below, providing about one thousand pingping (3,300 square meters) of floor space. Situated between the lawn and a copse, the environmentally friendly building is designed to seamlessly blend into the natural landscape. The exterior walls of the first floor will be in the form of a glass curtain, and the elevators and stairs will also use transparent materials, allowing the greenery and natural light to enter the interior space. A cafe will be situated so as to provide a clear view of the public art piece Confrontation, ConversationConfrontation, Conversation located in the Go Garden, and is sure to become a popular place for admiring the sunset and moonrise.
 
An art connoisseur and philanthropist
 
Hsieh Hong-liang graduated from the Department of Physics in 1973, and is now the chairman of the Scientech company. A long-time connoisseur of art, he has previously donated from his personal collection a replica of Rodin’s The ThinkerThe Thinker (Le PenseurLe Penseur), which is on display next to the Main Library.
 
During the donation ceremony held on campus Hsieh said that, in recognition of the Buddhist teachings on returning to the source, he was initially considering having the Museum built in Yilan, where he grew up, but was eventually persuaded by President Hocheng Hong’s persistent entreaties to have it build at NTHU. His intention is to establish an art museum which combines technology and the humanities, so that the building itself will be regarded as a work of art.
 
Hsieh also said that the prevailing materialistic attitude in Taiwan has resulted in distorted values and a general decline in morality. So when he heard about the Chun-shan UMC Concert Hall currently being built on campus, he realized that an art museum would be an ideal complement to the new Concert Hall, and that together they would make a significant contribution to the cultural and spiritual climate in Taiwan.
 
President Hocheng said that NTHU is most grateful for Hsieh’s generous donation, and that the NTHU community has three prominent art and antique collectors. One is Professor Yang Rur-bin, whose collection is strong in historical and cultural relics; another is Professor Li Chia-wei, who collects religious images, specimens, and fossils. The third is Hsieh, and although his collection is not as well known as that of the other two, it’s also world-class. Hocheng added that soon NTHU will be the only university with a College of Arts and a major art museum, thereby placing it at the forefront of art and art education in Taiwan.
 
The architect Kuo Hsu-yuan said that the basement of the Museum will serve as the permanent exhibition area, the first floor will have a lecture hall and coffee shop, while the third floor will consist of three special exhibition areas that can be combined or used separately.
 

President Hocheng Hong (left) thanking alumnus Hsieh Hong-liang for donating the funds for building the new Museum, a simulated image of which is on the lower left.

President Hocheng Hong (left) thanking alumnus Hsieh Hong-liang for donating the funds for building the new Museum, a simulated image of which is on the lower left.


At the donation ceremony (left to right): Alumni Association President Cai Jinbu, 
Hocheng, Hsieh, and Alumni Association Honorary President Xie Yongfen.

At the donation ceremony (left to right): Alumni Association President Cai Jinbu, Hocheng, Hsieh, and Alumni Association Honorary President Xie Yongfen.


Hocheng (left) and Hsieh holding a model of the future Museum.

Hocheng (left) and Hsieh holding a model of the future Museum.


Hsieh said that he expects the new art museum will be a major boon to the cultural life of Hsinchu.

Hsieh said that he expects the new art museum will be a major boon to the cultural life of Hsinchu.


President Hocheng said the NTHU will be the only university in Taiwan with its own art museum.

President Hocheng said the NTHU will be the only university in Taiwan with its own art museum.

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