The rare books and document archives at the National Palace Museum spring from the same source as library collections. Although the National Palace Museum is a museum based upon Chinese ancient art, unlike other museums, the National Palace Museum collections house a large number of files, documents, and rare old books. These precious items not only record knowledge and preserve culture and art, but also give later generations the opportunity to trace life in the past and the stories that took place then.
From traditional paper-based records to the modern-day spread of electronic files through the internet, knowledge and information are now being recorded and communicated through unprecedented methods at unimaginable speeds. In this Exhibition, the Department of Education, Exhibition, and Information Services at the National Palace Museum has specially selected digital exhibits whose design was based upon rare books and files in the National Palace Museum collections, to develop this "NPM Rare Books and Documents New Media Art Exhibition." Borne on the wings of technology, visitors will journey through the past and present, to experience the sumptuous beauty of the Tibetan Dragon Sutra or conduct an onsite inspection according to the contents of a memorial submitted by a Qing era minister, thereby gaining a better understanding of history while viewing items in the Museum collections from a different perspective. The digital display of books and documents is also in line with the characteristics of the National Library of Public Information.
This Exhibition has been named, "Waters Need Not Be Deep," in Chinese, and many will immediately associate this with the next line in the famous couplet from which it was derived, "but gain spirituality if dragons reside." Paper-based documents may not be as lively or interesting when compared with artworks such as calligraphy, paintings, or artifacts, but the content and meaning harbored within them are more comprehensible, and their value is by no means inferior to other cultural relics. The name of the Exhibition also alludes to the two main themes presented: the exceptional scenery and rich cultural connotations of the ethereally beautiful Shuisalian (Sun Moon Lake), and the artistic beauty of the rare book, The Tibetan Dragon Sutra. The National Palace Museum cordially invites you, by means of contemporary technology, to discover the close associations between Taiwan and the National Palace Museum documents and files, and experience the fine and exquisitely beautiful bookbinding art of rare tomes, as embodied by the Tibetan Dragon Sutra.