KAOHSIUNG (The China Post) — Kaohsiung is usually known for its industrial development. As a main industrial city in southern Taiwan, Kaohsiung was considered as “cultural desert” for decades. However, Kaohsiung shows its potential to be city with plentiful cultural prosperities.
The Pier 2 Art Center(駁二藝術特區), located in Yancheng District, was originally built in 1973 as a harbor warehouse within the third ship trench in Kaohsiung harbor. It was out of repair for many years before the Kaohsiung City Government decided to give it a renovation in 2000.
A group of artists decided to use their creativity and talents to release and remake it to be an arts center. This district is divided into many areas showcasing different art exhibitions and featuring manufactures.
The Kaohsiung City Bureau of Cultural Affairs took over the Pier-2 Art Center in 2006, starting a series of exhibitions and festivals. Now Pier-2 is more than merely a single warehouse, all kinds of art activities are held irregularly in the district, bringing a rich artistic air to the port.
Inside of Pier 2, you can find an art installation made up entirely by chairs from elementary schools. This fantastic artwork is called ‘Music of Chairs’ (椅子樂譜) and it depicts the memories of the past to visitors.
You will also find many interesting public arts, including wall murals and sculptures. For example, “3D train station”(車站) is painted on the wall of the dorm of the harbor office. It takes a month and half to paint and it is the biggest 3D mural in Taiwan. “Sit here, do nothing”(駁二最大咖) contains two statues sitting on the roof of moonlight theater. “Labor and Fish woman”(工人與漁婦) expresses the cultural implications of Kaohsiung as an industrial and maritime city. The images of the backs strongly imply that the figures “work hard silently” without fear of being anonymous and nobodies.
The Pier 2 Art Center is now one of the best places in Kaohsiung for modern art fans, it has already become Kaohsiung’s most popular cultural spot.
— By San-Ling Tsai | Special to The China Post