Memories of military prostitute's forbidden history is evoked and felt in AMA Museum (‘Ama’ is a Taiwanese colloquialism for ‘grandmother’ and used as the project name), designed by Whole A+P. A number of brave old ladies (the comfort women) would like to tell the poignant stories in their early ages with people through the spaces. Whole A+P believes that Individuals would also like to share the aura of sadness of Amas’ lives with peace and love.
AMA Museum, located at No.256 Dihua St., is situated in a traditional row house. Our client, The Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation selected this house because of its well preserved condition, with the original Qilian stone wall adorned with peace doves. Furthermore, the symbol of peace doves allows Whole A+P to re-illuminate the solemn issue of the comfort women in a conciliatory way.
The first section of the row house is a coffee shop, surrounded by five drawings of Wan-nu Ama. Whole A+P reorganized those touching drawings with corten steel expresseing Ama’s warm heart and recording the visitors’ imprints of their warm palms.
The linkage corridor on the first floor holds an exhibition titled “Their Time”. The handrail, started here, is the core concept of AMA Museum. Apart from the barrier-free function, handrail in this project would like to convey the idea that visitors could walk through the whole exhibition while holding AMAs’ hands. Handrail continues throughout the whole museum, symbolizing that those amiable and valorous old ladies (the comfort women) will own a rosy future in their later life.
The linkage corridor on the second floor holds the "Song of the Reed" exhibition. The changing inner moods of the Amas’ from melancholy to tranquil and from loathe to forgiveness are expressed through thousands of transparent tubes and 59 corten steel tubes. Those crimson metal tubes are lights which could project Amas’ names on visitors’ hands.
The second floor is a multiple functional area. The Foundation will hold lectures for physically-mentally-damaged women and provide a book-sharing place for locals. All furniture designed are flexible and movable is in order to preserve the original building.
The weaving of reeds in this historic district of Taipei is the first impression Whole A+P wants to present. The hand-written Chinese characters of ‘Ama’ appear on the elevation as calligraphy and mounted on corten steel board. The selection of corten steel reflects the historical meaning and temporal changes in this area.