Earthquake victims in Da Nanbu, Zhunan county, following the 1935 Taichung earthquake.

[Photo story] How earthquakes have shaped Taiwan's collective psyche

The earthquake that hit Hualien in Taiwan on 3 April 2024 is just the latest in a long list of earthquakes in Taiwan’s history, for example the 921 earthquake of 1999 and the earthquake of 1935 that hit Taichung. How have these earthquakes affected the people of Taiwan and shaped their psyche through the ages? Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao provides some insight.
Ching-ti (left) and Chiang Hsun on the second floor of Tung Hua Books after Chiang's lecture on Dream of the Red Chamber, 23 May 2002. (Photo taken by Chen Wen-fa)

This ordinary, extraordinary life: A Taiwanese woman called Ching-ti [Part 1]

Taiwanese art historian Chiang Hsun recalls his memories of his dear friend Ching-ti, from the lectures he conducted in her bakery to the death of her beloved husband. Ching-ti was a generous woman unbothered by life’s trivialities, but was unprepared to face the death of her loved one.
The Lion Grove Garden in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China. (Photo: Haryani Ismail)

Bai Juyi: This Tang dynasty poet enjoyed a good life

Cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai gives us a glimpse into the life of Tang dynasty poet Bai Juyi, whose later years were leisurely spent as a carefree and frivolous official often writing about the blazing heat of summer.
A view of Huangshan, Anhui province, China. (Hong Thai Travel)

A Singaporean's climb up Huangshan 40 years ago

Hua Language Centre director Chew Wee Kai describes his first visit to Huangshan some 40 years ago, which was a memorable trip in more ways than one. Aside from the unapologetic clouds and towering pine trees atop of the mountain, the climb up and descent down is one for the books.
The Milky Way seen as night falls over Taiwan. (iStock)

Taiwanese art historian: Are Libras and Leos always a perfect match?

Taiwanese art historian Chiang Hsun muses on his encounters with a Libra who took him on a historical exploration, and a Leo that pushed Taiwan’s film industry into the world stage. Do the rules of attraction truly dictate that Libras and Leos themselves are compatible, even if they despise each other?
The crested ibis is hailed as the “oriental gem”. (iStock)

Crested ibis diplomacy: How a nearly extinct bird brought China and Japan together

This year marks 20 years since the native-born Japanese crested ibis was declared extinct in Japan. Commentator Chen Hongbin looks at a dance item inspired by the crested ibis and examines a chapter of diplomacy between China and Japan, and how it brought them together in a common effort to preserve the rare bird.
The second supermoon of 2023, also known as the Sturgeon Moon, rises behind the cable car of the Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 1 August 2023. (Mauro Pimentel/AFP)

Taiwanese art historian: What’s the significance of the Mid-Autumn Festival?

Art historian Chiang Hsun recalls a time of basking in the glow of natural light that can be hardly seen or felt today. Modern artificial lights have driven out the darkness, but along with it life itself.
Taiwanese writer Lung Ying-tai loves living in the mountains, physically and metaphorically. (SPH Media)

Taiwanese author Lung Ying-tai: Everyone needs a mountain in our heart

During an interview about her life in the mountains, Taiwanese author and former minister of culture Lung Ying-tai said that even a metropolis like Singapore which does not have a mountain within its borders is linked to “mountains” in the sense that all of us need a spiritual mountain, a shelter from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. She feels that literature and reading can help us cultivate this mental reserve. Zaobao correspondent Wang Yiming tells us more.
Mother in her teenage years, studying at a normal university in Xi’an. (Photo provided by Chiang Hsun)

Taiwanese art historian: What my mother taught me about blessings in life

Ordinary is beautiful, says art historian Chiang Hsun. That’s what the frenzy of war taught his mother; that’s what the simplicity of home cooking reminds us.