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HOME > NORTH TAIWAN > TAIPEI > ARTS & LEISURE >
C U L T U R E
 

Taiwan Fun Magazine, September 2002   

The Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art
Foundations for the Future

       It's hard not to notice the Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art resting quietly amidst the architectural relics on Chang Ang West Road. Only a trace of the original facade remains, yet some passers by who know the old neighborhood will recognize her face. One step inside, though, will erase all memories. The interiors have been completely overhauled and redesigned along more modern lines that fuse the past and present, the traditional and the trendy.

       During the early days of Japanese occupation, the structure served as NAME. Later it became the NAME Elementary School for Japanese students where only a handful of Taiwanese youngsters were allowed to attend. At the time, an expansive campus included two swimming pools, a sumo wrestling ring and other athletic facilities.

       When Japanese rule in Taiwan came to an end in 1945, the building was designated for government use as NAME. It continued in this capacity for nearly forty years. When office spaces were finally relocated in 1994, heated debate erupted in the community as to whether the building should be saved or sacrificed to urban renewal. In the end, city planners agreed to invest in historical value rather than in commercial potential and the structure survived. It is now earmarked to house contemporary paintings and sculpture. Continuing renovation efforts means that it too will evolve just like the arts that it will display.

       Recently, many examples of vintage architecture in the city have been given a new lease on life. Revived and restored, they are once again a useful part of the cityscape. The Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art is visible proof that art, history and technology can cooperate, creating a new foundation from which to enjoy the past and look forward to the future.
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