12 Mar 2022 | Works
A discovery on a 1000 NT$ bill
I traveled to Taiwan in January. Because of the pandemic, I had been unable to go for two years. The omicron wave was still sweeping the world, so I had to spend two weeks in a quarantine hotel after my arrival.
I had taken my paint and brushes with me, knowing that I would have to keep myself busy in those two weeks. In the end, I created four paintings while I was in the quarantine prison.
This is the first one, and it started with me holding a 1000 NT$ bill, looking at the beautiful mountain depicted on the bill. I wondered: if the mountain is called Yu Shan (玉山), jade mountain, it should be green. Why are they printing it in blue?
I started to do some research and was shocked: Mount Jade is the tallest mountain in Far-East Asia! At 3952 metres, it is taller than Mount Fuji, which is 3776 metres. So, when the Japanese governed Taiwan, they gave it the name “New High Mountain” because it was taller than their tallest mountain!
There’s also a local Taiwanese bank, Yu Shan Bank, and their slogan is “Our heart is a pure as a jade stone and our responsibility is heavy as a mountain”. (心清如玉 ，義重如山)
Wikipedia says that all Taiwanese should once in their lives climb the mountain. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I have not yet done my duty as a Taiwanese, it seems.