Sat, Nov 18, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Weiwuying arts center hosting spectacular outdoor show

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

An image from the The First Seeds 3D video and light show that is to be performed at the Weiwuying Center for the Arts in Kaohsiung from Wednesday to Sunday next week is pictured in a handout from Wonders of Art International.

Photo Courtesy of Wonders of Art International

The National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) is marking another step in its development with a five-night outdoor performance extravaganza that starts on Wednesday next week.

Construction of the Weiwuying center, designed by Dutch architect Francine Houben, was finished four years ago, but the interior work has been underway since then.

The Preparatory Office for the Weiwuying Center for the Arts commissioned Taipei-based Wonders of Art International to create a production to celebrate its development, and the result is The First Seeds, an interactive light sculpture show that combines 3D video mapping projections with live performances and music.

Serina Chen (陳琪), director of Wonders of Art and the Image in Motion Theater Company, which created the multimedia, immersive Window of the City show for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, on Thursday told a news conference in Taipei that The First Seeds will use 18 projectors to project video onto the exterior of the theater complex that faces the southern lawn of Weiwuying Metropolitan Park (衛武營都會公園).

The projections are to cover an area that is 223m wide and 39m high and includes the open-air theater in the building’s roof, said Chen, who is also the director of The First Seeds.

The show will tell the history of the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts, which is in an area that served as a military base during the Japanese colonial era and then became a camp for the Eighth Army in the 1950s.

Years of debate over what to do with the site followed the decommissioning of the camp in 1979, before the government in 2003 decided to turn the 47 hectares into a national performance center and a park.

The Kaohsiung City Government in 2006 launched an international architectural competition to select a designer and developer, which was won by Houben’s Mecanoo architects the following year.

Houben’s design was inspired by the banyan trees on the site and Chen said the performance is subtitled "Under the Banyan Trees," as the video projections begin with the flourishing of a single tree that grows into a forest.

The show pays tribute to Kaohsiung’s maritime history, as well as its development into an industrial center and its hope to become a major performance and cultural center, hence the “seed” imagery, Chen said.

The Kaohsiung Children’s Choir, dancer Chang Ya-ting (張雅婷) and 50 other performers are to take part in the show.

There will be three performances of The First Seeds each night, at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm, as well as an interactive art installation created by young artists and students from around Kaohsiung from 5pm to 6:30pm.

While the performances are free, tickets are required to enter the installation area and will be available from information desks set up on the sides of the outdoor theater area.

This story has been updated since it was first published.

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