Taiwan’s Wall of Literature
TAIWAN—If you are thinking the phrase ‘Wall of Literature’ belongs to a school or any educational institution, you’re wrong. That is if you are inside the Terminal 2 of Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan.
If you are one of those travelers who do not just sit or sleep while waiting for connecting flights but go around to explore what the airport has to offer, you will most likely notice that airports are the best places to get a quick glimpse of that country’s culture, history, must-visit attractions, must-taste food and drinks, and more.
These bits and pieces of everything at the airport is just a juicy trailer of what visitors can expect to find in that country.
I had a few hours layover at the Airport Terminal 2 of Taoyuan International Airport a couple of months back and immediately set out to check everything out. But first I need to get some local currency before I can buy a cup of coffee.
Pushing my trolley along the endless corridors heading to Section A of the third floor just before the Currency Exchange booth closes for the day, I saw long wall filled with golden letters but I was in a hurry and did not pay much attention to it.
I caught the currency exchange guy just in time before he closed the glass windows. With enough money to buy coffee and some dinner later, I was at a relaxed pace when I passed by the wall again. This time I noticed that the LED backlighting along the hallway added a magical effect to the golden letters casting reflections on the shiny floors. I also noticed that passengers, even those who were in a hurry stole a few seconds to pose infront of the Wall for souvenir photos.
From the marker on the wall, I learned the acrylic-covered metal panels is called Wall of Literature and it was established by the Ever Rich Duty Free Shop. The Wall of Literature which combines modern calligraphy with the concepts of modern poetry was the work of Chen-nan Chu, a famous calligrapher and lyricist Wen-shan Fan who specializes in presenting visual images with an aesthetic sense of diversity. I couldn’t read or understand the letters so I had to rely on the information on the wall which says the Wall of Literature “depicts the mutual memories of Taiwan’s vernacular cultures of local landscapes, snacks and the land and fully expresses the great enthusiasm and native temperament of Taiwan.”
Taoyuan International Airport is the main hub of China Airlines, China’s flag carrier, EVA Air and other major airlines. Watching planes fly in and out of the airport every few minutes just made me wonder why everyone was flying somewhere.
If you want to get to know Taiwan, the Taoyuan International Airport is your first step to learning, and don’t forget to check out the Wall of Literature.