Chang Dai-ch'ien was born in Nei-chiang, Szechwan province, in 1899, and died in 1983 at the age of 85. As a painter he had his own unique style and was one of the greatest painters in the history of modern art. Moreover there are many legendary anecdotes from his life such as having studied textile dyeing in Japan and having joined a Buddhist monastery as a monk, and having journeyed to Tun-huang during wartime to make copies of the cave paintings. Wherever he lived, Chang Dai-ch'ien's residences were expressions of his good taste. All of them, "Plum Blossom Village" in Szechwan, the "Garden of Eight Virtues" in Brazil, "Ko Yi Chu (The Habitable)" "Huan-pi Retreat" in the United States and the Abode of Maya in Waishuangxi, Taipei, had beautiful gardens.
Construction of the Abode of Maya was begun in 1976 and completed in August 1978. It is a two-story building occupying approximately 1,911 sq. m. Chang designed the two-story, courtyard-style building and the matching Chinese-style gardens himself.
The Chang Dai-ch'ien Residence is also known as "the Abode of Maya". Maya is an allusion to Sakyamuni's mother, in whose belly can be found 3,000 microcosmic worlds. In accordance with Chang Dai-ch'ien's bequest, his family donated the residence to the National Palace Museum 100 days after his death, where the Museum converted it into a memorial to the artist. The house has been preserved exactly as it was during Chang's lifetime, giving visitors a moving glimpse of the home life of this great painter.
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