the last Sunday of each month, the Lantan Art Flea
Market takes place in a lot next to Chiayi's Lantan
Scenic Area and the lake for which this area is
market features around 80 or 90 stalls selling
a wide range of arts and handicrafts from pottery
to leather crafts, woodcarving, jewelry and embroidered
textiles produced by local artists. In addition,
there are several stalls peddling items from Taiwan's
earlier days such as conical farmers' hats, old
bottles, posters, telephones, and typewriters.
No market in Taiwan would be complete without food
stalls. Choices include set meals from a local
restaurant specializing in organic foods and barbecued
delicacies such as wild boar. Expect to spend two
to three hours to complete a loop of the market.
Chwang founded this market in January 2002 as a
place for wandering artists to gather. He explains
that: "Art is wandering. It is an unknown
journey that is never ending and has no destination.
It must not be restricted to an academic field
or profession. Once art enters a museum or gallery
it dies. It becomes a lifeless object. Real artists
wander and through their wandering sustain art's
says that a wandering artist is what he longs to
be, although he must still keep his day job as
an interior designer to pay the bills. He has developed
a circle of friends who share the same ideals and
values, and says he has found that some of his
happiest moments come from spending time with these
kindred spirits. This market grew out of those
market opened with ten stalls set up by his close
friends. Through word of mouth and the use of eye-catching
flyers which feature caricatures of artists at
work, the market has grown in both visitor numbers
says that for one weekend per month this market
creates a space for artistic passion that knows
no ethnic or national boundaries. It is a place
for free spirits to meet and exchange and drive
the creativity of Taiwan's artists. He adds that
another of its attractions is that it presents
art in an accessible manner, allowing the public
to interact with it directly, instead of at a distance
as in museums and galleries.
Chiayi? This is where Chwang grew up. He moved
back to Chiayi nine years ago, looking for a simpler
lifestyle after working for 18 years in Taipei.
Upon his return, he was intrigued by the current
of wandering artists from Taiwan and abroad flowing
through the area, and felt that this made Chiayi
a suitable place for developing an art flea market.
month the market is centered on a different theme
and there is a different mix of vendors, making
it worth visiting more than once. In addition,
on the night before the market there are often
dance parties or art events at the market site.
Camping space is available for those who want to
stay in close proximity to enjoy the market the
in Chiayi, follow the signs to the Lantan Scenic
Area. Turn right at the end of SiaoYa Road and
you'll see black and white flags marking the entrance
to the flea market. The market opens at 8 am and
continues until 5 pm. Admission is free. For more
information call Dylan Chwang at (05) 231-4100,
(05) 281-1380, or 0916008646.