A Dream Came True : The Story of CHIMEI Museum

This is a real and touching story of a far-reaching project originated with a private dream of an inspired individual assisted by a cohort of collaborators. Ultimately they transformed the dream into reality that has since benefitted the public. However, the process of actualizing this beautiful and fantastic aspiration is an odyssey spanning over eight decades.




Boy Wen-long Shi

Tainan Prefecture Educational Museum

    The story begins with a boy of seven or eight exploring the myriad wonders of his local museum. As a youth, Wen-long Shi acquired educations not merely at his school but also via the touring of the richly endowed Tainan Prefecture Educational Museum that was opened to the public free of charge. On recalling those early days of his childhood, he relates that after school he would either visit a local fish farm to play or go to the museum to tour the exhibits. His memories of these early childhood museum visits served as seeds that later blossomed into a profound appreciation for culture. Afterwards, while engaging in the arts and culture sector, he gave priority consideration to establishing a museum that “would be opened to the public.”

Wen-long Shi's transcendent cultural aspirations

    The youthful Wen-long Shi, after first exploring his professional options at some length, found his calling and progressively established a firm foothold in it. Adhering to the philosophy of his father, Shu-ho Shi, that a best-selling 
product should incorporate the traits of novelty, sophistication, and aesthetical appeal, in 1953Wen-long  Shi established the Chi Mei Industries Factory with $20,000 in capital on premises occupying just about 26.4 m². In 1960, he formally established the Chi Mei Corporation, Taiwan's first acrylic sheet manufacturer. Through several transformations, he expanded it into the world's leading ABS resin manufacturing conglomerate. He started inviting and readying a body of museum talents in such areas as collections preservation, visitor services, exhibition design, museum construction, and further to arranging a variety of educational learning activities, with every step carried out methodically and purposefully. The Chi Mei Corporation also provided its full support by mobilizing a broad spectrum of specialized professionals and investing physical and financial resources. In 1992 the Chimei Museum was established on the Chi Mei Corporation Rende factory grounds. It was opened free to the public for 21 years and the number of its visitors throughout the years had exceeded 10 million. Wen-long Shi simultaneously lent a collection of renowned violins and paintings to individuals and institutions all over the world to further promote Taiwan's international fame. 

From the seeds of the dream to the site of their full fruition

    Today's Chimei Museum, situated in the Tainan Metropolitan Park, emerged through the collaboration of the Tainan Municipal Government and the Chi Mei Corporation, and is an accomplishment of a profound dream completed – “A Museum for All”.

    This story starts with a dream, when the dream was no more than a fantastic notion, it is now a  full-blown reality of a 
dream that has come
 true. Wen-long Shi, now 87 (2015), used his individual(the‘I’in the equation) dream of propagating culture to influence every employee at Chi Mei Corporation (the‘You and I’in the equation) to act together to pursue this dream and bring it into reality. Ultimately he created a museum that exceeded his initial expectations many times over and thereby fully satisfied everyone's(the‘Everyone’in the equation)desire for a Chimei Museum. 

    Humanity is great because of its dreams. We hope that the completion of this museum, can inspire many others and encourage them to pursue their own beautiful and uniquely enchanting aspirations, and put full forces to realize their dreams.