Tong An Ship


"Rebuilding the Tong-an Ships New Media Art Exhibition" was designed in partnership with Songshan Feng-tian Temple with the core principle of "presenting a first-rate collection of Chinese art and artifacts to the world using technology."

This exhibition contains interactive and digital art installations featuring holographic projection, naked-eye 3D, augmented reality, and kinect sensor technologies to reinterpret the rise and fall of Tong-an ships in Chinese maritime history. With advanced digital technology, the audiences can enjoy a much more immersive viewing experience. The exhibition reenacts the heyday of East Asian maritime culture during the 19th century and restores the historical elegance of Tong-an ships.

These large traditional sailing vessels, which emerged in the middle of the Qing Dynasty, were so named because they were constructed in Tong-an, Fujian. They were first widely used in the private sector and by pirates before finally becoming the naval mainstay of the Qing court. Before the arrival of steamships in China, Tong-an ships were the most representative sailing vessels.

A curatorial focus of the exhibit rests on the idea of "tides," as in ocean tides, immigration tide, economic tide, all of which can be associated with Tong-an ships. First, ocean tides brought unlimited opportunities, opening an indispensable link to the outside world beyond China's coast. Tong-an ships also helped spur a tide of immigration, adding to the development of Taiwan. With the arrival of people came an economic tide, creating a rich and pluralistic maritime commercial culture at a time that saw the rise of the "Pirate Kings" such as Cai Qian. In addition, interpreting and presenting artifacts from NPM using new media technology represents a new trend, or "tide," in contemporary exhibit installations. Thus, the different meanings of "tides" mentioned above is the underlying inspiration for this exhibition.

This exhibition follows three main themes: "Period Background," "Main Characters," and "Ship Construction." The integrated application of advanced new technology allows viewers to fully experience the emotional impact and atmosphere of each work, to obtain historical, military, and cultural information related to the Tong-an ships, and to view the rich content of original historical documents.