Financial Times praises Weiwuying, Kaohsiung for work amid pandemic

Weiwuying (Courtesy of Weiwuying)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Financial Times on Jan. 15 praised the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying, 衛武營國家藝術文化中心) as an example for putting on shows despite the pandemic in an article titled “Taiwan’s stunning new arts center springs back to life.”

Weiwuying was formerly a military training base in Kaohsiung. (Courtesy of the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts)

According to the Financial Times, Taiwan was the first country to restart hosting live concerts while the world was in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak in the first half of last year.  

Now, as concert halls in the West close again, the spotlight has turned back to east Asia where Taiwan is enjoying arts and music events.  

Financial Times’ full coverage on Weiwuying (Courtesy of National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts)
The National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) has five performance spaces, including a 2236-seat opera house, a 1981-seat concert hall, a 1210-seat playhouse, a 434-seat recital hall and an outdoor theatre. (Courtesy of the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts)

Weiwuying, which opened in 2018, recently announced a series of spring art performances.  

For the occasion, the Financial Times interviewed Chien Wen-Pin, the conductor and artistic director of Weiwuying, to introduce the sole national arts center’s features in southern Taiwan and how performances restarted amid the outbreak. 

Image by National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying).

“This is the biggest theatre complex under one roof in the world,” Chien said proudly.  

He added: “It is the newest cultural building in Taiwan and the only one built after the political change in 2000 — a symbol of freedom and democracy.” 

Under the arts center’s wave-like roof lie multiple venues, including an opera house, theatre, concert hall, and recital hall.   

The architects left so many possibilities for creating new work, Chien said.  

Weiwuying incorporates five separate state-of-the-art performance spaces, covering a surface area of 35 acres (141,000 sqm) and is set in the spectacular 116-acre (470,000 sqm) subtropical park in the heart of Kaohsiung, making it the world’s largest performing arts center under one roof.

Chien added Times that thanks to medical staff, the public, and the government, Taiwan can keep the arts going amid the outbreak, allowing the artists to accompany the people through the energy of art to go through the hard times.  

Chien ended by saying, “We are happy to share our experience with our friends abroad and hope that the world will soon get out of the epidemic and back on track.”