How Taiwan’s Chin Pao San Cemetery Changing the Image of Funeral Culture Through the Power of Cultural Creativity?

Chin Pao San is actively engaged in digital integration and working with other technology partners to research and develop products suitable for the funeral industry, including the online memorial system Reverehere. The picture shows the exhibition site of the AFE Hong Kong 2024.(Image source: Perpetual Memorial Park)
“The concept of death is not frightening; rather, it is the prospect of being forgotten that is most disturbing. The value of a person's life, regardless of their financial status, is to leave behind a legacy that future generations can reference. Our objective is to be a 'service industry that commemorates life', as opposed to merely providing 'real estate in another world'.”

Tsao Guang-Tsann, Chairman of ChinPaoSan Group, recently delivered a presentation at the Asia Funeral & Cemetery Expo & Conference (AFE) 2024 seminar in Hong Kong. In his remarks, he discussed how Chin Pao San Cemetery incorporates aesthetic elements of cultural creativity. The presentation also addressed the use of technology in the context of the funeral industry, with a focus on the future trends that will shape the industry. Additionally, the speaker offered advice to fellow industry members and future generations, with the aim of fostering collaboration and creating an environment conducive to enhancing the cultural image of the funeral industry.

The Importance of Cemetery to Society: Commemorating Life

Chin Pao San Cemetery in Jinshan, Taipei exemplifies a modern landscape art cemetery. It is the sole panoramic cemetery in Taiwan with a theme of art, humanities, and religion. Notably, almost all prominent politicians and businessmen have chosen Chin Pao San Cemetery as their final resting place. The park is situated on the mountain and faces the sea. The aesthetically pleasing setting conceals a visionary and heartfelt construction.

Tsao Guang-Tsann posited that the significance of cemeteries in contemporary society is to commemorate life. He further argued that without commemoration, there is no future. The funeral industry may be regarded as a component of culture. Many cultural heritages around the world have now become tourist attractions, including the pyramids in Egypt, the Taj Mahal in India, the Terracotta Warriors and Horses in China, and so on.

With a background in art, science and technology, and over 50 years of experience in the funeral service industry, Tsao Guang-Tsann has been able to consider the development and future of the funeral industry from an international perspective and from various angles. Tsao Ryh-Chang, the founder of ChinPaoSan Group, had been engaged in the development of cemeteries into parks for over 40 years. In light of the advancements in the field, he has elevated this practice to the art of cemetery landscaping.

"There are many ways to commemorate life, and it is easy to express this in architecture, because architecture can be retained, and good architecture can even be retained for thousands of years and become part of the culture."

It is also worth mentioning that an architectural project currently under construction at Chin Pao San Cemetery has been recognized by the esteemed architectural journal General Architect for inclusion in its pages. The Dawn Arrival Hall and Oceanic Pavilion, a monument to life in a transcendent era, were designed by Steven Holl, a renowned American architect.

The Dawn Arrival Hall and Oceanic Pavilion, a monument to life in a transcendent era, were designed by Steven Holl, a renowned American architect. (Image source: ChinPaoShan official website)

“The interior is just as special as the exterior. With 50,000 square meters of floor space without a single pillar, it's like strolling through cosmic space.”

He stated that the memorial was intended to serve as a monument to the younger generation, in terms of how they will honour their ancestors. Consequently, the building serves not only as a memorial but also as a museum, an art gallery, a performance hall, a hotel, and a restaurant.

“The building features five distinct shapes of windows, with the roof displaying a variety of colours. When the sun shines through the glazed roof, the floor will exhibit a multicoloured reflection, inspired by the five elements of Eastern philosophy, combined with the five elements of Western philosophy.”

Revere Holo Memory series offering elegant solutions for honoring cherished memories and companions. (Image source: Perpetual Memorial Park)

How to Promote Modernization in the Oldest and Most Conservative Industry: Integrating Technology in the Funeral Industry

Artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), meta-universe and other technological concepts are currently popular topics. When it comes to using technology in the funeral industry, Tsao Guang-tsann often puts forward two key points to his peers: firstly, don't be whimsical; and secondly, don't overdo it.

“The core is still about humanity. For example, it doesn't matter how well a 'digital human' is replicated in voice or appearance, whether it can break through the most important concept in the heart is the key point. From the beginning to the end, it is clear that it is a fake, not a real person, and a fake can never replace a real person.”

He underlined the importance of developing products that offer convenience to the funeral industry and are readily accepted by customers, as this is the only way to ensure the success of the products.

Tsao Guang-Tsann specially introduced the e-paper display screen at the conference. The battery can be replaced for up to ten years, and family members can replace the photos according to their own needs. (Image source: Perpetual Memorial Park)

"At the farewell ceremony for my father, we incorporated technology into a couple of the planned events. Firstly, a global webcast was made available to allow those unable to attend the ceremony to participate remotely. The second is a digital memorial page, which eliminates the need to print an obituary in the past and handles it directly online. Furthermore, friends and family are invited to contribute their recollections of the deceased via the provided links."

He also highlighted that the public is increasingly inclined to document their lives, and if this trend persists, "their own stories told by themselves" will also become a dominant trend.

"There are many significant and minor events in a person's life. Which one is the most significant and which one is the least significant? But in fact, anything in life is a small scratch in front of death."

The Asia Funeral & Cemetery Expo & Conference (AFE) Hong Kong, organized by Brilliant Vertical Exhibition and supported by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) in May. The event attracted more than 2,500 buyers, visiting groups, associations, and officials of the funeral industry from 35 countries.

Read More》

  1. 【AFE Hong Kong 2024】Exploring the Funeral Industry's Journey of Transformation
  2. Green Funeral Trends are on the Horizon, Can You Accept an Eco-friendly Casket? 
  3. The "Ultimate Guardian" of Human Remains: Understanding the International Repatriation Industry

#万富 #继承传统

A One-minute Insight into Funeral Trends in Different Countries
Handicraft Preservation 1 mins

A One-minute Insight into Funeral Trends in Different Countries

The advent of green burial has given rise to a new phenomenon: eco-coffins. Despite their long-standing presence in the funeral industry……