Fri, Mar 27, 2015 - Page 12 News List

Illuminating the hill

The Treasure Hill Environmental Art Lantern Festival will kick off tomorrow with art installations that shed light on social issues and historical injustices

By Ho Yi  /  Staff reporter

A scene from last year’s performance at the lantern festival held at Treasure Hill Artist Village.

Photo courtesy of Taipei Culture Foundation

Do not expect there to be real lanterns at the Treasure Hill Environmental Art Lantern Festival (寶藏巖環境藝術燈節), set to open at 7pm tomorrow at Taipei’s Treasure Hill Artist Village (寶藏巖國際藝術村). Instead, installations will illuminate the hills, creating a pensive mood for visitors to contemplate the controversial history of this now popular cultural attraction.

Launched in 2012, the annual festival features performances and installations by contemporary artists from Taiwan and Japan, some of whom were former artists-in-residence.

“We don’t come up with a theme and give it to the artists. The artists have to come here and examine the place first, and then start to think about what they want to do,” says Yang Hsiao-wei (楊筱薇) from the Taipei Culture Foundation’s Department of Artist-in-Residence (台北市文化基金會藝術村營運部).

While there is no thematic focus, crossover collaborations feature predominantly in this year’s lineup. For the festival’s opening show, multimedia artist Chou Yu-cheng (周育正) creates a large tent-like structure as the set for a performance by Scarecrow Contemporary Dance Company (稻草人現代舞蹈團).

Building a stage with recycled clothing, artist Chen Sung-chih (陳松志) collaborates with dancer-choreographer Yu Yen-fang (余彥芳) from the improvisational dance troupe Ku & Dancers (古舞團), for a performance on April 18 and April 25.


Once a squatter community whose inhabitants were primarily war veterans who retreated to Taiwan with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Treasure Hill was designated a historical site in 2004. It underwent renovations by the Department of Cultural Affairs in 2007. Most of the tenants were relocated, with only a few remaining. The artist village was officially put into operation in 2010.

Festival notes

What: Treasure Hill Environmental Art Lantern Festival (寶藏巖環境藝術燈節)

When: Tomorrow through April 26 from 11am to 10pm. Closed on Mondays except for April 6

Where: Treasure Hill Artist Village (寶藏巖國際藝術村), 2, Alley 14, Ln 230, Dingzhou Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市汀州路三段230巷14弄2號)

Admission: Free

On the net:

Tai Han-hong’s (戴翰泓) wobbly wood-and-iron structure is inspired by the inhabitants’ persistence despite repeated relocation attempts.

Yet Luo Jr-shin’s (羅智信) work is probably the most critical. Transforming an old, above-ground cistern into a swimming pool with a beach chair on the side, Luo intends to show how the squatter settlement became a weekend hot spot frequented by camera-wielding visitors. Sound artist Betty Apple (鄭宜蘋) will perform in the pond on April 6 and April 11.

The exhibited artworks are scattered throughout Treasure Hill’s labyrinth of piecemeal buildings, so visitors are encouraged to wander through the alleys. The best time to visit is after sunset since most of the installations use light as one of their creative elements.

All live performances are scheduled to take place on weekends, free of admission. For more information, visit or

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