The National Taiwan Museum will hold a special exhibition showcasing Taiwanese and European studies on marine microfossils from an artistic and scientific perspective in Taipei from June 26, 2018 through May 5, 2019.
Given that about 70 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by oceans, there are countless microscopic organisms that form the base of the marine food chain and serve as evolutionary evidence for life's origins. These single-celled organisms are the oldest form of life on Earth, and remnants of their shells and bones have fossilized over the course of millions of years.
Though microfossils are so small in size that studies require the use of an electron microscope, they play an important role in recording geological development. Scientists have also discovered that microscopic organisms can help manage global temperatures.
A total of four sections — "Museum of Microfossils," "Art and Science of Microfossils," "Microfossils of Taiwan," and "Glimpse into the Future through Microfossils" — will shed light on Taiwan's micro-paleontological studies and how microfossils are boosting scientific understanding of climate change and the impact of fossil fuels.
Through showcasing four groups of marine microfossils spanning foraminifera, coccolithophore, diatom, and ridiolaria, the exhibition will introduce an interesting variation of microfossil shapes and sizes.
In addition, the exhibition will offer glimpses of Europe's 19th-century achievements in micropaleontology and the pursuit of microfossil aesthetics by naturalists during the Victorian era.
Director Hung Shih-you (洪世佑) of the National Taiwan Museum noted that fossils are an significant field of study in Earth science as well as an important dating tool for gauging time. The exhibition will reinterpret marine microfossils by combining art with science, he added.
Chief Secretary Chen Ji-min (陳濟民) of the Ministry of Culture explained that the exhibition reflects a close connection between cultural and scientific development. In recent years, the Ministry has been pushing for the application of science in culture with technology funding and subsidy programs, including the enhancement of museums and their function of research and education to encourage the general public to explore and learn more from museums.
‘Microfossil – The Exquisite Beauty under the Sea’