Work begins on world-class Kaohsiung arts center
* Publication Date：04/08/2010
* Source： United Daily News
The Kaohsiung Wei Wu Ying Center for the Arts broke ground April 7 and is scheduled for completion in 2013, at an estimated cost of nearly NT$10 billion (US$317 million).
“This shows that despite tight budgets in the post-recession era, all government agencies are fully dedicated to promoting art,” said President Ma Ying-jeou.
The Wei Wu Ying Center for the Arts, based in the former military camp of Wei Wu Ying and the present Wei Wu Ying Metropolitan Park on the border of Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County, was designed by the internationally renowned Mecanoo Architecten b.v., a Netherlands-based architecture and planning company led by Francine M.J. Houben.
With a total floor area of 141,000 square meters, the world-class performance center is expected to look like a skate fish swimming in the sea, with smooth exterior lines flowing like sound waves.
Performance venues within the center will feature a central theater seating 2,260, a medium-sized auditorium accomodating 1,254, a concert hall for 2,000 and performance hall holding 470. Other facilities include an outdoor plaza, a gift shop, a multifunctional space and a rooftop observatory.
Emile Chih-jen Sheng , minister of the Council for Cultural Affairs, said the center will be the largest in East Asia. “Another international landmark will soon arise in Taiwan,” he added.
Kaohsiung County Magistrate Yang Chiu-hsing said, “Kaohsiung has been derided as a cultural desert for years. After nine years of hard effort, I am very happy to see construction work for the center has finally begun.”
Chen Chu, mayor of Kaohsiung City, urged the central government to put more emphasis on southern Taiwan. “With as much as NT$1 billion allocated annually to the National Theater Concert Hall in Taipei, arts projects in the south should be taken better care of from now on.”
A special performance by leading Taiwanese opera thespian Sun Cui-feng of the Ming Hwa Yuan Arts & Cultural Group and renowned Henan opera diva Wang Hai-ling, leading a troupe of 100, highlighted the groundbreaking ceremony. (TYH-THN)