Sat, Nov 10, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Taichung turning public market into comic art space

By Yang Cheng-chun and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Pedestrians on Tuesday walk past the former sites of the Fourth Public Retail Market, a historic building from the Japanese colonial era on Nanjing Road in Taichung’s East District.

Photo: Yang Cheng-chun, Taipei Times

The Taichung City Government has launched a NT$30 million (US$973,647) project to transform the former site of the city’s Fourth Public Retail Market into a space for comic book and graphic artists.

The building housing the market on Nanjing Road in the East District was constructed in 1932 during the Japanese colonial era and designated a historic site by the city government in 2015.

Ever since the market closed its doors in 2013, there has been talk as to whether the building would be repurposed.

At the groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said the building would be turned into a landmark destination for comic books and graphic art, and complement its surroundings, which include the Taichung Imperial Sugar Factory, the Taichung Overpass, the Natural Way Six Arts Center and the Cultural Heritage Park (文化資產園區).

The renovated space would serve multiple functions, including education, exhibitions and commerce, he said.

Renovations are expected to be completed by November next year, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taichung City Councilor Chiu Su-chen (邱素貞) said.

DPP Taichung City Councilor Cheng Kung-chin (鄭功進) said the city government should begin looking for talent before the new space opens.

It could host summer camps, workshops, and other events at the Cultural Heritage Park while construction takes places to attract local talent in the anime, comic and games industry, he added.

The traditional elements of the former market could also be preserved and incorporated into the new space to create a dialogue between the old and the new, DPP Taichung City Councilor Ho Min-cheng (何敏誠) said, adding that this would be in line with the city government’s plans to bring about a “rebirth of the city.”

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