Before Dawn: Missing Object Collection Exhibition at the Human Rights Museum

Before Dawn: Missing Objects Collection Exhibition

Before Dawn: Missing Objects Collection Exhibition

Duration: from Oct. 20th 2020 to Sept. 1st 2024

A tribute before the dawn breaks : In memory of our loved ones.

In the past century, from dusk to dawn, our planet Earth and the island we call home have revolved 36,525 times around the sun. Over the past hundred years, we have enjoyed an abundance on this island, nurtured by sunshine, air, and water. Yet, what is the force driving Taiwan's relentless journey onward?

In the crucible of the 1920s and 1930s, a group of Taiwanese men and women emerged. They were earnest, ardent, and curious souls. They hoped to one day dedicate their lives to the world. Through their student years and World War II, and amidst changing regimes and shifting cultural tides, they remained pure and passionate. They are the "Men and Women of World War II."

Yet, when these men and women fell prey to authoritarian rule, they were branded as rebels and silenced. They vanished from the face of the Earth and were forgotten by the people of Taiwan for over half a century.

Martial Law was lifted in Taiwan in 1987. Authoritarian rule ended in 1992, and we welcomed a change of ruling party in 2000. In 2017, the process of transitional justice began. The shadow of the White Terror, which had loomed over the island of Taiwan for so long, gradually subsided. As dawn breaks, we can finally gaze clearly into the past, present, and future of Taiwan.

Through " Before Dawn : Missing Objects Collection Exhibition", we at the National Human Rights Museum hope to bring back the victims of the White Terror through their letters, journals, photographs, clothing, documents, crafts, books, and paintings. Sounds and videos from the past paint a portrait of complex relationships: family, friends, and lovers. Let us relive their youthful dreams and witness their undying passion for life in the face of adversity. Let us hear their moving life stories and recognize the hardships that Taiwan has collectively endured. Let us continue to embrace their fight for a better Taiwan.