About thirty minutes from Taipei is one of the island’s most beautiful and distinctive temples, the Zushi Temple in the small town of Sanxia.
Originally built in 1767 by immigrants from Fujian province in China, the temple is dedicated to a Taoist deity known as Zushi-Gong (袓師公), which is best translated as “divine progenitor”. The structure was most recently rebuilt under the renowned local artist Li Meishu in 1947, who injected his own more modern artistic sensibilities into the temple’s traditional layout, including a series of beautifully carved stone pillars instead of the conventional wooden ones.
Indeed, the quality of the temple’s carvings and paintings is quite stunning, providing a vibrant blend of ancient and modern. It’s no surprise that the temple is so popular not just with the locals but also people from throughout the island who flock to see the embodiment of Li Meishu’s unique artistic vision.