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Nation Parks of Taiwan

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December 2008

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BRILLIANT PEOPLE

Guardian of Tranditional Architecture - Interview with Professor Cian-LangLi

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Over 30 years ago, a military official in Kinmen always took his sketch book and a rental camera on days off and traveled through the island. Few people knew to appreciate these traditional southern Fukien-style buildings, which later became part of the Kinmen National Park and have been kept intact as a national asset.
 
It was a great ending in the dilemma of urban conservation and development.
 
Gigantic passion
“Tearing down old houses, paving new roads, and building skyscrapers” is the rooted stereotype governments and grassroots societies have about urbanization. It takes a long time to educate people on conservation. Only a person with vision, gigantic passion and sense of mission like Professor Cian-Lang Li can do that and he is exactly the official mentioned above.
30 years have passed. The young official is no longer young. What stays unchanged is his passion about traditional architecture and historical buildings. One will be moved first by the survey data
he has collected, including the numerous slides of breathtaking buildings in thousands of yellow boxes packing his research studio. These document his adventures in the past more than 30 years. Each box contains endless stories.
 
A young decommissioned official having acquired abundant data, Cian-Lang Li published “Kinmen Residential Architecture” and devoted himself to research and conservation of traditional buildings. He makes contributions through extensive solid field trips, active lectures, speeches, and participation in reviews or protests. Legendary Professor Li is also known for his ability to sketch complex building 3D views while lecturing.
The KMNP Headquarters is propelling the restoration and vitalization of the historic homes, seeking to maintain the ultimate vitality of traditional architecture.
  • lower: The KMNP Headquarters is propelling the restoration and vitalization of the historic homes, seeking to maintain the ultimate vitality of traditional architecture./ by Jin-yuan Dai

Text/ Jia-Jyun Lan
Translator/ James Chang
Photo provider/ Jia-Jyun Lan

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