“How Sweet Yu Tang Is” Exhibition Invites You to Savor the Sweet Memories of This Hundred-year-old Sugar Refinery
Tapani Incident Memorial Park has been in service for three years. On December 15th, 2018, the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Tainan City Government launched a special exhibition, “How Sweet Yu Tang Is,” in memory of this hundred-year-old sugar refinery. For this exhibition, we interviewed local residents, retired employees, and their family members, to depict the charm of Yujing and its sugar refinery. We would like to invite you to explore the golden era of Yujing with us through the exhibition’s old photos, historical documents, and recorded narration.
The history of Yujing Sugar Refinery, established by Yung Sing Sugar Refining Co., Ltd, dates back to 1906. The refinery managed to remain in service even during the famous Tapani Incident. After World War II the refinery was expanded by the First Branch of the Taiwan Sugar Corporation, and the area became one of the most bustling and lively places in the mountainous areas of Tainan. The refinery was in fact once closely related to the development of local economy and culture, until it closed down in 1995. In 2015, the Tainan Cultural Affairs Bureau of Tainan City Government set up the Tapani Incident Memorial Park at the refinery’s former site. The Bureau renovated the complex and turned it into several exhibition halls. When visiting the park, people can picture how it looked like long ago.
This exhibition is the very first time that Yujing Sugar Refinery has been recorded through systematic data collection and organization, as well as a field survey. The main theme, “How Sweet Yu Tang Is,” reminds us that deeper memories of the wonderful things in life are moments of sweetness, just like the sweetness we taste when we have sweet things.
For this exhibition, we invited several retired employees and their family members to participate in a special workshop to collect their individual memories and depict a complete vision of the refinery complex. Although visitors might not be able to see the actual buildings, through the exhibited maps, charts, videos, and photos, they can still learn about the sugar industry in times past, and the local residents’ optimistic attitude towards life.
This exhibition is divided into five key subjects: “Sweet Life,” “Sweet Lifestyle,” “Sweet Memories,” “Sweet Cane Farm,” and “Sweet Future.” In addition to remaking the floor plan, and designing a historical timeline of the refinery layout, we also decorated a corner to present the scene of a traditional sugar refinery ice cream shop. Additionally, there is a special shed where visitors can see aerial images of the refinery complex and some historical documents. The exhibition at the shed also sadly reflects the fact that both the history and the original condition of the refinery are no longer with us, and only can be remembered through pictures.
“How Sweet Yu Tang Is” starts from the 15th of this month, and will last for a year. We sincerely invite you to walk into Yujing Sugar Refinery and taste the sweet memories of this place. Inquiry by phone: 06-5741025.