Beyond Writing
Opening Date: 14 Oct. 2015 
Venue: Room 207
Beyond Writing is the wrap-up exhibition of Come to Write, which was a follow-up to The Way to Literacy event that invited visitors to imitate Han-Dynasty(206B.C-220A.D.) people writing on wooden slips and to experience the difference between writing on slips and paper. Beyond Writing gathers and organizes the slip notes made by participants to the writing event and now presents to you this contemporary wooden slip exhibition. 
This exhibition is based on museum viewers’ participation which began as a writing experiment. After writing, participants could take slips home as a souvenir or leave them on the display desk to share their notes with other visitors. The writers probably did not expect their slip notes end up being in the showcase, and that was probably the reason why the words on these slips were rather free-styled and fascinating as they were not conformed to any rules. These writings simply recorded their impression and feeling about their museum journey, but at the same time, also told us something about how people tend to act when they are leaving words in public.
From experience to participation, visitors’ writings are reversed and transformed into display objects in this exhibition. Writing is now a mode of participation, with wooden slips now becoming the key medium in this participatory exhibition. The museum visitors have made writing Beyond Writing and vitalize this showroom. 
 Come here and try to discover where your slip note is.
  • 1. I was here

    1. I was here
    Our visitors come from various backgrounds, ranging from elementary-school student, students at graduate schools, group tourists and foreign researchers. Among these check-in’s, there are description about the weather and feeling, as well as notes left by two Nobel laureates.
  • 2. Motto and Poem

    2.  Motto and Poem
    At this moment, what is the first sentence that comes to your mind? A poem from Li Bai the Chinese poet? Motto form Dr. Hu Shih or a famous quote from a movie? Here we have the words from The Book of Songs, Tang Poetry and the well-known motto from Dr. Hu Shih. Moreover, there are also a quote from the award-winning movie KANO as well as a poem of Yang Hau that Göran Malmqvist, a member of the Swedish Academy, wrote down.
  • 3. Make a Wish

    3. Make a Wish
    Writing wishes on wooden slips for personal happiness or praying for the others. According to these wishes, we could know what the most common hopes in life are. People always pray for health, happiness, their studies, career or love. We are particularly impressed that someone made a wish to “work here in 20 years”.
  • 4. Something Interesting

    4. Something Interesting
    Creativity is quite evident in the notes. People either revise a well-known quote, praise themselves, follow the latest trends or say something related to the latest TV shows. Various lovely notes show us the unexpected original ideas and make people laugh out loud. There are also several creative love notes, ranging from confession of love to courageous announcements like “I want a girlfriend” and “I want a boyfriend.”

    After viewing an exhibition, visitors would try to memorize the name of our museum and would like to write words about the exhibitions. For example, one has written the famous IHP motto, travel up hill and down dale in search of first-hand materials only obtainable through field research, on his wooden slip. Furthermore, they would leave some other comments on the slips. These show real feelings such as “The air condition is too cold” and compliments such as “Astonishing!” and “I will definitely come here again.”
  • 6. Calligraphy

    6. Calligraphy
    It is obviously difficult to write Chinese characters on wooden slips with a writing brush. How about writing in English or Arabic? We have visitors from around the world who wrote in Japanese, Korean, English, French, German, Arabic, Hindi and even oracle bone scripts (ancient Chinese character).To appreciate these beautiful writings, we select a few samples for you to see. We also exhibit a modern replica of “Monthly and Seasonal Records of Military Supplies from the Kuang-ti South Platoon in the Yung-yüan Era” of the Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) . Could you tell the difference between the original and the replica?