The southern Taiwan Kaohsiung may indeed host on the list of art world’s newest wonders: the brand-new £260m Weiwuying or National Kaohsiung Center for that Arts. The world’s largest performing art centre, it opened its doors on October 13, 2018. Designed to resemble the sweeping canopy of local banyan trees, the Weiwuying features four indoor performance venues and intentions to increase the opportunities for culture in Taiwan.
Inside there's an opera house, a theatre hall, a recital hall as well as a playhouse. There's also a patio theatre, built in the roof where the rooftop gently dips in the ground. The Weiwuying’s grounds are ready to accept the public, so you’ll see dance classes taking place, teenagers hanging out, and seniors being placed in its cavernous, open very beginning.
The new Weiwuying arts centre in Kaohsiung, Taiwan
As impressive because Weiwuying is, it’s just one of many latest in the series of impressive art centres and museums who have opened recently in southern Taiwan. These places mostly are in the cities of Kaohsiung and Tainan (25 miles apart, 30-60 minutes by regular train; 12 minutes by high-speed rail). Thinking of planning at vacation to Taiwan? We can help! Our new tailor-made travel service will pair you that has a local expert who are able to organise a totally personalised itinerary for you personally.
Engaging art and history museums
As Taiwan’s oldest city using a history of over 400 years, Tainan brims with heritage, art and culture. The city is opening its new Tainan Art Museum, comprised of two distinct buildings. Building 1 is really a restored 1930s colonial police station, around which a modern extension has become built. This part is open. A little further outside, the museum’s Building 2 is often a completely new building included in an open pentagonal shell, scheduled to look at in December 2018. Building 1 features artwork from local painters, while Building 2 will feature global contemporary art.
Tainan can also be where you will quickly realize the National Museum of Taiwan History. Opened this season, the museum tells the storyplot of the island’s turbulent development above the centuries including Dutch and Japanese colonialism, Qing Dynasty rule, and martial law through colourful, life-sized displays and exhibits. Outside, the museum is protected by a giant Cloud Wall, several 1,350 solar power systems that helps power the dwelling. Taiwan’s most popular museum could be the National Palace Museum (NPM), which is inside capital, Taipei. However, in 2016, a southern branch was opened in Chiayi County (17 minutes by high-speed rail from Tainan, half-hour from Kaohsiung). While the NPM showcases imperial Chinese treasures, the Southern Branch requires a different approach - combining Chinese treasures with Taiwanese and Asian artefacts.
The National Palace Museum in Chiayi County, Taiwan
Visitors is able to see Buddhist artefacts and statues from Japan, Thailand and India; centuries-old Buddhist scrolls, and textiles produced by the indigenous people of Taiwan. Never mind that it’s a branch in the NPM, this can be a world-class museum by itself. Kaohsiung’s Museum of Fine Arts is quite a bit old when compared, having opened in 1994, nonetheless it features great paintings, contemporary art and exhibits by a few of Taiwan’s best artists.
One from the most impressive exhibits is usually a collection of oil paintings of Taiwan’s organic beauty. Once you visit every one of these art and history museums, there's still more art to be enjoyed.
Arts and culture in Taiwan: cultural hubs
At Kaohsiung’s waterfront lies the Pier-2 Art Centre, the most significant art district inside south. This area was previously a dockyard, but it has become revitalised into a thorough cultural hub. Pier-2 contains art galleries, museums and outdoor contemporary art, and also boutiques selling many methods from handmade clothing to stationery, all housed in former warehouses. The northernmost zone incorporates a large park where art exhibits created from twisted steel lie among unused railway lines.
A robot sculpture at Pier 2 in Kaohsiung
Tainan’s Blueprint Culture and Creative Park can be a former prison dormitory turned art centre that's amusing murals, quirky outdoor figures, galleries and shops. Opened after 2015, Blueprint’s main attraction is undoubtedly an old house painted in blue which uses white lines to make a 3D visual experience. As with Pier-2, Blueprint can be an example on the laudable Taiwanese habit of converting unused historical buildings into art and cultural space.
Art hits the streets - and also the subway stations
For Kaohsiung’s best street murals, head back to your Weiwuying, that you'll find an unassuming neighbourhood just north on the Weiwuying subway station. Many in the low-rise apartments and condos have been painted over and done with resplendent murals, some since the entire front facade.
Murals cover the apartments or condos near Weiwuying subway station
Finally, plan efforts and see the subway stations in Kaohsiung, especially Formosa Boulevard station. It’s been called among the world’s most breathtaking subway stations - and for good reason. Its underground concourse features the Dome of Light, a magnificent ceiling artwork of cosmic figures derived from 4,500 glass panels created by Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata. When you visit Taiwan, provide south an attempt. While Taipei may very well be great for urban exploration and nightlife; the central might feature spectacular mountains; and also the east coast might boast the country’s best scenery, the south is the place art, history, and culture combine.
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