top of page


Special Exhibition|Massacre of stations – Revisiting the February 28 Incident


The vicissitudes of life witnessed by railway stations are the memories that cannot be erased from the minds of Taiwanese people.

Massacre of stations – Revisiting the February 28 Incident is an exhibition that is curated with a focus on what happened at and around the three railway stations of Badu Station, Chiayi Station and Kaohsiung Station, and illustrates how the incident unraveled at these locations. Through the literature, pictures and oral stories surrounding these stations, it is hoped that the truth of their history can be revealed in a clearer way.

The February 28 Incident was not only a resistance movement ignited by a murder committed by a contraband tobacco investigator, and its range was not limited to an ethnic clash between locals and newcomers. The development of the incident was related to the overall dynamics of Taiwanese society and culture and was intertwined with the actions, decisions and ideas of a variety of individuals and organizations. Today, now that these stations have become tourist destinations, it is hoped that by reconstructing and reinterpreting the historical scenes, visitors of the exhibition can understand how the victims of state violence were persecuted, as well as appreciate the historical value inherent in the railway stations in terms of the history of human rights abuses.


The beginning of Japanese rule over Taiwan in 1895 marks the first encounter between Indigenous Peoples in Taiwan and the modern state. A brand-new culture, along with modern education system and technology, were brought to the island by the colonizers, challenging the mindsets and traditional values of the Indigenous Peoples. During the Japanese colonial period, Indigenous communities in Taiwan were confronted with a slow erosion of economy, political independence and cultural autonomy as a result of being gradually influenced by the power of modernization. Nevertheless, they still attempted to take advantage of this impact and turn it into a driving force for their own development.

After Japan surrendered in 1945, the Chinese Nationalist government took over Taiwan. Two years later, the February 28 Incident broke out, causing chaos all over the island. The Indigenous communities either involved themselves in the incident or avoided taking sides. No matter what option they chose, it is clear that the community leaders made these decisions out of consideration for the subjectivity of their own people.

Although the Indigenous groups had survived the mass execution during the incident, their elites with clear ethnic consciousness were inevitably purged by the Chinese Nationalist government in the later White Terror period. As the case of Yapasuyong'e Yulunana (Tang Shou-jen), some were arrested and charged with inciting rebellion, while others were executed at Ankeng Execution Ground in Xindian, Taipei. It gradually became more difficult to promote ideas such as Indigenous autonomy, land restitution or rectification of Indigenous names in public under strict surveillance and social control. Moreover, the Sinicized cultural policies also led to a great loss of Indigenous languages, cultures, identities and history. 

Focusing on the relationship between Indigenous communities in Taiwan and the February 28 Incident, this exhibition aims to restore the historical truth in hopes that the Indigenous Peoples will not be forgotten or eliminated from the public memories of the incident.

Online Exhibition:
bottom of page