It has been an interesting couple of weeks here. Last week, I spend some time in sunny southern Taiwan where I met Joe Lin, the grandson of Lin Mosei (林茂生), who was the first Taiwanese person to receive a PhD from Columbia University. Tragically he disappeared days after the 228 Massacre which happened in Taiwan on February 28, 1947. To learn more about the 228 Massacre please visit: TaiwanDC.org or read this Wikipedia entry.
I met Joe because he learned about the MAKING HISTORY campaign through one of his classmates and my friend Wen-Chi who supported my campaign. Joe took me to the Chang Jung Senior High School in Tainan where there is a memorial for his grandfather.
Besides all of the documents related to Lin Mosei, we discovered that the school also had Taiwan's first printing press (which was from England).
Joe lives in Taichung and amongst the personal possessions left behind by his grandfather were these eyeglasses.
Joe showed me around Taichung and we had planned to visit to the Miyahara Eye Clinic (宮原眼科), a historic building that has been converted into the Dawncake storefront where they now sell pastries, desserts and ice cream. Before we went there, Joe discovered that his grandfather's eyeglasses actually came from the Miyahara Eye Clinic, which made our visit there all the more meaningful!
We also went up to Taipei where Joe was able to meet Su Beng.
While at Su Beng's I met Lihkuei Chen, the director of the film Dear Taiwan (好國好民) She is shooting a documentary about Su Beng and I'm excited to see how we might be able to work together and to "compare notes" with her. I also met Su Beng's long time friends Ming Chuang, Professor Kai-Huang Chen, and Nicolas Chiou who has drawn new illustrations for Su Beng's Illustrated Taiwan's 400 Years of History book aka Cartoon Taiwan's 400 Years of History. It was good to see Su Beng in good spirits that night.
Last week I also met with a professor of Taiwan history and I've been putting out feelers through my contacts and have been introduced to several scholars, so things are falling into place.
This past weekend (February 21-23), Su Beng spoke about Taiwan's past and present in a 3 part lecture series. Each night he'd speak for about 3 hours from 7-10pm. Then after class he'd invite several of his students out for a late dinner, which often made for a late night with dinner ending around 11pm or midnight. At 95 he definitely still has quite a bit of energy and stamina.
It's great to see so many young faces in the audience. The youngest student was a fifth grader brought by her parents!
In the time that I've been in Taiwan, I've already personally met a few of the people who contributed to MAKING HISTORY and have run into people who have heard about my crowdfunding campaign and project to document the life of Su Beng. It's incredible how the word has gotten out about my project! Here's a look back at the milestones of the crowdfunding campaign and a few highlights from the Victory Party on January 27th for those of you who weren't able to make it. *Special thanks to Robin Adams for putting this together for me.