About the Chi Mei Culture Foundation
If you come off the main north-south freeway at the Jen-teh Interchange and drive into the Chi Mei Industrial Corporation factory located in Jen-teh District of Tainan City, you will see a highly distinctive building surrounded by lawns, decorated with Western-style sculpture, and with two Ch'ing Dynasty cannons dating from the K'ang-hsi era standing in front of it. The contrast between this building and its surroundings immediately draws the attention of the visitor. This is the headquarters building of Chi Mei Industrial Corporation, one of the world's leading manufacturers of ABS plastic.
The establishment of the Chi Mei Culture Foundation reflects Chi Mei Industrial Corporation's commitment to making a meaningful contribution to the development of Taiwanese society. Every year, part of Chi Mei Industrial Corporation's profits is donated to the Foundation to provide funding for the Chi Mei Museum; the money is used to acquire new artworks for the Museum and to organize and promote a wide range of cultural activities. Under the instruction of Chi Mei Industrial Corporation Chairman Wen-Long Shi, the Chi Mei Culture Foundation was established in 1977, with a mission to “help people to create happy lives”. To have a truly happy existence, one needs to give equal weight to physical health and spiritual/emotional well-being. With this aim in mind, in 1987 the Chi Mei Culture Foundation took over the running of the Father Fox Memorial Hospital, which was experiencing severe financial difficulties. The hospital, which was renamed Chi Mei Foundation Hospital, currently has 1,300 beds, and is one of the largest and best-equipped hospitals in the Yunlin-Chiayi-Tainan region. In February 1990, the Chi Mei Culture Foundation set up the Chi Mei Art Resources Center (Preparatory Office), the forerunner of the Chi Mei Museum, which was formally established in 1992, opening to the public on April 1st of that year. Admission to the Museum is free of charge.
The Chi Mei Culture Foundation has already achieved impressive results in the realization of its original vision. The Chi Mei Museum's collection of Western paintings and sculptures is widely considered to be one of the finest collections held by a private museum anywhere in the world. The Museum's arms and armors, natural history and musical instruments collections are both extensive and of high quality, and enjoy a high reputation within the Asian museum sector. Several hundred thousand people visit the Museum every year, confirming that the quality of the Museum's collections is matched by its attraction as a tourist destination. Former Taiwan President, Dr. Teng-Hui Lee, and President, Mr. Shui-Bian Chen, have both visited the Museum on several occasions, and were full of praise for Chi Mei Industrial Corporation's devotion to promote culture and the arts in Taiwan.