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FYI SOUTH Magazine, June 2004


TaiNan National College Of The Arts' Downtown Art Center

Text, photos and translation by Iva Huang

     In Tainan City, not far from the East Gate and the Municipal Cultural Center, an art center barely a year old is introducing a broad range of arts to the urban community.
Run by professors and students from the Tainan National College of the Arts (TNCA), a graduate institute located in Tainan County's Kuantian, the Art Center TNCA is sponsored by President Yang of Kao-Ching Construction Co., Ltd.

The exterior of this establishment is wrapped in silver-gray; the crystal-clear walls reflect the treasures inside. Bulletin boards provide details of upcoming concerts, exhibitions, performances, and other activities. According to Mr. Chen, who heads the Art Center TNCA, these have included Colin Offord, a versatile musician from Australia who plays handmade instruments, and a mandolin troupe from the TNCA.
There are no limits for this art center. Rock music and drama are equally welcome and both have been performed here--this is what makes this art center so different from others. A gift shop is planned.

This modern-looking venue has two floors and a basement. As soon as you step in, the staff can guide you through the three halls. Hall A focuses on monthly exhibitions; Hall B features three-dimensional pieces; and Hall C presents two-dimensional art works. Generally, displays are renewed monthly.

Major events include the following: (1) Monthly Exhibits (including calligraphy, paintings, photography, and reading); (2) Face to Face with Masters (seminars with famous artists, such as calligrapher Ms. Dong, and Cloud Gate dance troupe founder Lin Hwai-min); (3) Music Appreciation & Teaching; and (4) Films & Documentaries (on subjects including Wusanto, feminism, and animation), with extracurricular activities such as "Sipping Coffee With Directors" and a "Motion Picture Producing Camp"; (5) Pottery; (6) Contemporary Art Design (such as an exhibition of mini chairs from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago); (7) Metal Art Design (with extracurricular activities like "Metal Art Design DIY"); and (8) Thematic Events, for instance, a tea and music party sponsored by The Chinese Art Of Tea Craft Union.

The second floor has an audio-visual room for showing cartoons, movies, documentaries, or music or dance DVDs. Shows are held at 1 pm, 3 pm, and 5 pm.
The cafe on the same floor is run by Jimmy Su, who has a master's degree in Sound & Image Studies In Documentary from TNCA. His freshly-roasted coffee is said to be the best in South Taiwan. Jimmy had planned to go to France for further studies, but instead he stayed to fulfill his dream of running a coffee shop. His venue has a lot of space and is exceptionally cozy; you can sit at the bar, or hide among the regular seats. There are newspaers and magazines to read, and you'll likely to run into some artists. You'll certainly enjoy every minute of your leisure right here.

According to Miss Huang, the exhibition manager, the Art Center TNCA is frequented mainly by artists, rather than local residents. Many people don't see the arts as a very important part of their daily lives, she says. That's why the center has been working with various social projects, such as the FNAC Photographing Marathon, Tainan Enterprises Career Training, and the Emperor Skyscraper Mid-Autumn Dinner Party. By promoting such activities, Miss Huang cherishes a hope that citizens can enjoy easy access to artistic events and ideas.

299, Sec. 2, Dongmen Rd., Tainan City
Hours: 12pm~6pm (Tue.~Thu.); 12pm~8pm (Fri.~Sun.)
Mondays & National Holidays off
No entrance fee required
Caf'e & AV Center are open at 12pm~10:30pm Tue. through Sun..


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