Former lawmaker continues his dream at ecological pottery
By Alan Fong, The China Post
August 22, 2011, 11:57 pm TWN
The China Post--One imagines lawmakers as larger-than-life figures who arrange their lives around their political achievements, but for Chen Wen-hui (陳文輝), legislator from 1996 to 1999, politics is his passion, but isn't everything in his life. “Hwataoyao (華陶窯) is my work,” he told The China Post, referring to the famous pottery-botanic garden-artist village he founded in 1984.
“The idea of starting Hwataoyao began with my wife, a member of the Chinese Floral Arts Foundation who was troubled by the fact that indigenous floral seeds and plants could not be found in the Taiwanese market then. So we started Hwataoyao (which means ”flower and ceramic kiln” in Mandarin) to cultivate indigenous Taiwanese plants,” he explained.
Chen was ahead of time in terms of environmental-orient construction. “We found a piece of hillside land on in Miaoli. Due to environmental regulations and our sense of mission to protect our home country, we built the place with eco-technology, water and soil preservation and promotion of Taiwanese handicraft in mind,” he said.
Hwataoyao now boasts over 600 species of indigenous plants Chen collected over the past three decades, which makes the place unique in Taiwan. “Taiwan is a special place where people can see tropical plants and frigid zone plants by traveling only a short distance,” he pointed out.
The buildings in the pottery, including the one featured in this undated photo, were constructed by Chen Wen-hui using eco-techniques. (Courtesy of Hwataoyao)