Fri, Jun 22, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Art installations and tents at murder site in city dismantled

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taipei City Councilor Angela Ying, right, lays a wreath at Huashan Grassland in Taipei yesterday, accompanied by a city official.

Photo: Hsiao Ting-fang, Taipei Times

Members of alternative events collective Unregulated Masses (野青眾) yesterday dismantled art installations and tents at Taipei’s Huashan Grassland (華山大草原) after a police inspection, amid allegations that the group had held nude photography events, sex parties and other illegal gatherings at the site.

The site has come under increasing scrutiny following the murder of a 30-year-old woman, surnamed Kao (高), on June 1.

Taipei police have increased patrols in the area, which is next to Huashan 1914 Creative Park, and conducted spot checks yesterday morning.

“We have deployed 22 officers for the task, because there are still many tents and art installations [at the site], in addition to the wooden hut where the murder allegedly took place,” Taipei Zhongzheng First Precinct Deputy Police Chief Wang Ta-yu (汪大宇) said. “We carried out spot checks of the site and the people there for public security.”

In the afternoon, members of the Unregulated Masses, which is headed by 23-year-old Chuang Yi-fan (莊奕凡), began dismantling the temporary structures and installations.

The group had applied to the Taipei City Government for use of the site as an artists’ village to hold arts and cultural events.

The city government on Tuesday suspended all activities at the site, where Kao was allegedly murdered and dismembered by archery instructor Chen Po-chien (陳伯謙), 37.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said that the city government does not own the site, but that the land would be returned to the central government when its lease expires at the end of the month.

Several Taipei city councilors accused Ko of trying to evade responsibility, as Chuang and Unregulated Masses had rented the site from the Taipei Urban Regeneration Office, and the area was designated as a public space for arts and falls under the city government’s jurisdiction.

“Before the murder happened, we had filed numerous complaints with the city government, because of public safety concerns and the illegal structures. They were holding parties with loud music late into the night and some people were reportedly using illegal drugs,” said Wu Kun-shan (吳崑山), the warden of Meihua Borough (梅花) in Zhongzheng District (中正).

“However, none of the city agencies took action. They only told us that they would send officials to persuade the group to correct the problems,” Wu said.

Local media reports have also said that Unregulated Masses was granted free use of the site from February until the end of this month, and that it had received a NT$450,000 subsidy from the city government.

With the group coming under increasing scrutiny, questions have been raised about the nature of its activities.

A netizen alleged that the group had trespassed on a defunct Taiwan Railways Administration underground feeder line next to the site and held a rave party there.

A check of social media sites showed that the group had organized a Wild Youth Pilgrimage Activity (百野繞境) on Dec. 31, 2016, a series of Wild Parties (野趴) at various locations and parades as part of Nuit Blanche in Taipei in 2016 and last year.

It also organized a Grassland Mating Season (草原求偶季) at the site last month and Human Zoo 8 (人類動物園八) last year, which allegedly featured photography of naked bodies, experimentation with self-isolation and bondage, and sex parties.

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