TAIPEI, Taiwan — A seal designer showcased 100 of his works yesterday that capture the beauty of 100 railway stations around Taiwan, part of the Taiwan Railway Administration’s (TRA’s) efforts to encourage the public to take the train to celebrate the nation’s 100th founding anniversary next year.
Chen shih-chu, a 42-year-old who has been an engraver since he was 19, presented the seals to the TRA at the launch of a railway travel journal dedicated to the Republic of China’s 100th founding anniversary.
The seals are printed in a “passport” introducing 219 train stations around the country, with spaces for 100 of the stations in which train-lovers can mark a space proving they have been there.
To get a feeling for each station, Chen said he spent more than six months discussing with historians and visiting local areas before engraving his passion for the railway into three-square-centimeter “canvases.”
“Trains are like birds to me,” Chen said. “They bring you to secret corners that people don’t know about.”
To create a nostalgic ambiance, Chen used cypress and rubber to first draft 200 samples and then whittled the number by half to select the 100 official symbols. The remainder of the 219 stations featured in the “passport” are described only in writing. “Coming up with 100 snapshots of 100 train stations requires much effort,” Chen said. “It’s not only about the buildings themselves but also about the surrounding streets, the cultures and the people.”
According to the TRA, the “passports” will be available in the stations they represent throughout next year.