- the historical evolution
in 1975 (the 64th year of the republic of china), president chiang kai-shek passed away, and the executive yuan set up a preparatory group to promote the construction of the chiang kai-shek memorial hall, which was completed in 1980. the park’s buildings include the archway on the front of freedom square, yiwen square, chiang kai-shek memorial hall, national concert hall, national theater and cloister corner pavilion.
in the 1990s, taiwan entered a democratic transition, and president chiang kai-shek, as the leader of the country during the authoritarian period, took many incidents of white terror and human rights violations during his tenure, and his historical merits were disputed. in 2007, the chiang kai-shek memorial hall was renamed “taiwan democracy memorial hall” and the “da zhong zhi zheng” character was changed to “freedom square”; in 2008, the exhibition “democracy opens the door and the free wind blows” with the theme of deconstructing authoritarian space was held. in 2009, although it was renamed the chiang kai-shek memorial hall, it continued to work for de-authoritarianization.
in 2017, the legislative yuan passed the ordinance on promoting transitional justice, which stipulates that authoritarian symbols must be removed, renamed or otherwise disposed of in order to establish a liberal democratic constitutional order and to remember the historical lessons of human rights violations.
2. pluralistic democratic movements
after the lifting of the martial law in 1987 (76 years of the republic of china), with the transformation of taiwan’s democracy, the art and culture square of the chiang kai-shek memorial hall and its surrounding spaces have repeatedly become places for mass gatherings and demonstrations, such as the 1989 june fourth campaign in solidarity with china, the 1990 “wild lily student movement”, the 1994 “anti-nuclear demonstration”, the 2008 “wild strawberry movement”, the 2009 “tribute to the 50th anniversary of the tibet (tibet) anti-riot campaign”, and the 2013 commemoration of the 228 incident the “symbiosis music festival”, the 2014 “sunflower student movement”, the 2014 marriage equality “rainbow campaign” publicity, the 2015 indigenous peoples wolf smoke campaign for self-determination, the 2020 solidarity with hong kong “anti-extradition” anniversary event, etc., are important venues to witness taiwan’s democratic transformation and pluralistic values.
3. art and cultural exhibition and performance activities
the chiang kai-shek memorial hall holds hundreds of arts and cultural exhibitions every year, including paintings, photography, calligraphy, printmaking, sculptures and other multi-media creation exhibitions, and has various performing arts activities, such as “the power of vision – indigenous folk music and dance performance”, “edo fenghua – five ukiyo masters exhibition”, “tutankhamun – pharaoh’s golden treasure special exhibition”, etc., which are at the peak of literature and art, wonderful and diverse, and are important venues for domestic art exhibitions.
as a historical field witnessing the development of democracy in taiwan, the chiang kai-shek memorial hall also actively promotes various reflections and speculations on democracy, freedom and human rights through exhibitions, such as “we ㄟ tianguang – a special exhibition of images and artistic interpretations documenting the development of democracy in taiwan”, “return to square – special exhibition on the 30th anniversary of the june fourth incident in china”, “awakening wave – freedom on the road to democracy”, etc., to continuously promote the universal values of democracy, freedom and human rights.
4. educational and leisure activities
the chiang kai-shek memorial hall carefully plans nearly 1,000 classes of various teaching and research activities every year, and holds various cultural topics and public lectures from time to time, providing opportunities for people of all ages to enrich themselves.
the park has natural and human resources, is an excellent place for teaching outside primary and secondary schools in the greater taipei area, and in 2017 (106 years of the republic of china), it passed the certification of environmental education sites, opened cultural preservation and nature conservation courses such as the chiang kai-shek memorial hall for day studies, and actively promoted environmental education; and successively opened study courses related to the theme of transitional justice and human rights to promote and strengthen the concept of democracy.
the chiang kai-shek memorial hall park covers an area of 25 hectares, with a large lawn, flowers and trees, and different styles in all four seasons. the park also has a variety of garden landscaping, ponds, insects, fish and birds are rich in ecology, while providing people with a place to play chess, exercise and stroll, is the best place for citizens to get close to natural culture and sightseeing.