If the arts scene within a city is to be improved, it is essential to have exhibitions and cultural events, and different art forms require different venues if they are to be presented in an optimal way. To this end, two new landmarks for the arts have been opened, in Greater Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan and Miaoli County in northern Taiwan — the Da-Dong Art Center in Greater Kaohsiung’s Fengshan District, Northern Miaoli Art Center in Miaoli County’s Jhunan Township.
The Da-Dong Art Center opened last month and cost NT$1.5 billion to build. The center was constructed as a joint project with Taiwanese and Dutch architects, and is regarded as a world-class arts venue. The architectural design emphasizes the concept of natural elements; therefore, the entire space is semi-outdoor and incorporates the surrounding ecosystem, giving it an Eastern, Zen aesthetic. The center was one of the main venues for the 2012 Kaohsiung Spring Arts Festival immediately after its inauguration. There is a performance hall, a visual arts exhibition hall, and also the unique Da-Dong Art Library, which opened to the public last Sunday. The library, said to be the nation’s first ever art-themed public library, has a collection of 150,000 items, on a range of art forms, including music, dance, theater, architecture, photography, and film.
Northern Miaoli Art Center cost NT$1.3 billion to build and began operating on New Year’s Day this year. The design is a conceptual combination of mountains and oceans. The center is a multi-functional space that provides professional performance facilities and equipment. The center has a performance hall, an experimental theater, exhibition rooms, a cultural and arts education center, as well as an outdoor arts plaza. Incorporating Miaoli County’s characteristics and cultural-historical monuments, the center showcases Miaoli County’s local flavor and ethnic diversity.
A tablet inscribed on the wall at the entrance of Northern Miaoli Art Center reads, “Culture is essential for development, and the development of the arts needs performances and exhibitions, which need a venue in which to be shown.” Both newly established venues bring together the arts present in everyday life and the special characteristics of local cultures. They provide a solid foundation for arts education, help invigorate the arts scene, and stimulate the creative industries and tourism. They will also help enrich the quality of life of local residents, helping them cultivate an awareness of art.
(Lin Ya-ti, Taipei Times)