In tune with lively places

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  • Chi Hsu

Tainan Art Museum | 位於全台古蹟最密集地段的美術館


吉客鏈:台南古蹟散步區 X 藝術裝飾建築 X

台南市樹 X 南國藝術 X 本土風情


Tainan - 400-yr city in Taiwan


After 400+ years, Tainan as an old capital of Taiwan, has finally opened its own Art Museum on Jan. 27, 2019. Located in Taiwan's highest density of heritage buildings: the Central-West District (中西區), Tainan.


Map source: Google | Central West District (in Red), Tainan Art Museum Bldg. I&II (in Yellow)

The most well-known heritage building is the Confucius temple, and more info on its catchment area is in this travelogue 台南孔廟商圈. The Bldg. I&II of Tainan Art Museum are adjacent to both sides of the Confucius temple. All historical and art places blend together, to create a lively and amazingly pedestrian tourist area in Tainan.

Building I - Art Deco Architecture


While people start to collect art pieces and to enjoy the art galleries, society is gradually reaching the spiritual lifestyle.


It was amazing to visit Tainan Art Museum after my sister's graduation ceremony last Saturday. Its Bldg. I was built and designed as in the style of Art Deco architecture during Japanese era. The original building was planned for the police headquarter and it was completed in 1931.


The Impression of Art Deco in Miami and Tainan


Last November, I explored Miami's Art Deco district and was impressed by the neat and colorful buildings along Miami beach. (See Art Deco | 芭芭拉讓邁阿密也文青) I learned those buildings were completed during 1926 - 1936 and WWII. The Deco style of architecture was influenced after International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris, 1925.


Tainan Art Gallery, Hall I (Photo Credit | Chi Hsu)

The timelines of building completion were both in 1930s, at Miami beach and old Tainan's CBD. I wondered if the designer of Tainan's police headquarter was also influenced by Paris's expo in 1925.

Instinctively, I browsed the Taiwanese architectural historian - Dr. Fu's(傅朝欽)book "臺灣建築文化史 (The History of Architectural Culture in Taiwan)" which addresses the precise development of buildings and streetscapes during Japanese era (Chap. 8 - 22). On Chapter 17, it states the modernism of society and architecture. I found my thought was correct (please refer the page 459 - 463 of 臺灣建築文化史).


(Source | 臺灣建築文化史 (The History of Architectural Culture in Taiwan))


The Japanese designer (Sutejiro Umezawa | 梅澤捨次郎)was influenced by the principles of Art Deco after Paris's expo in 1925 to develop the former building of Tainan Art Museum. As well as the nearby streetscapes, the CBD of old Tainan, named 末廣町, including a department store - Hayashi. (It reopened in 2014, please refers 有繁華、也有戰事的林百貨(Hayashi)


(Photo source from Tainan Art Museum)

On the subject of Art Deco, the Chrysler Building of New York is monument of this style. What I have seen in Miami and Tainan, those buildings are much plainer in design with cheaper materials according to local resource. In Tainan, the 1930s was still the early stage of development and the beginning of the use of bricks and tiles as construction materials.


(Photo Credit | Chi Hsu)


Some of snapshots above at Tainan Art Museum Bldg. I, the former police headquarter building. To renovate the old building for the purpose of an art gallery, the planner also built additional spaces at the back of the original building for exhibition rooms. It is very fascinating to walk in between old and new across an open courtyard with an old banyan tree.


Last November, the courtyard was visited by Taiwan's number 1 super model, Chiling Lin for her wedding venue. She also became the sponsor of banyan tree's garden to carry on her happiness after the delicate dreamy wedding.


(Photo Credit | Chi Hsu)


Building II - Modern Design Architecture


Within 10 minutes walking along the pedestrian walkway of the Confucius Temple, the white modern polygon shaped building is the Tainan Art Museum, Bldg. II. The design was inspired by the flower of flame tree. The flame tree is noted as Tainan's city tree and its red-orange flowers bloom over summer time.


I would recommend you look at the directory signs which stands along as a functional sculpture and incorporates the flame tree flower.

(Photo Credit | Chi Hsu)


Guess What's What - Exhibitions


In the 4 snapshots below, you may be able to guess which building host what kind of exhibitions. The upper two are traditional and the lower two are funky modern. So, what's what?


(Photo Credit | Chi Hsu)


Gratitude


Tainan was the earliest city to achieve prosperous in Taiwan and it should have had its own art museum earlier than 2019. I am so pleased its opening brings the insights and inner strengths of lively Tainan to everyone whom visits here.


My sister graduated from the university of medical technology this year at the age of 47. She might have had her own degree earlier if she chose her study more randomly. I am so pleased she figured out her interests and inner strengths herself.


There are many reasons to be grateful at the season of flame tree's flowers blossom. My gratitude is that my sister completed her degree and it brought me to have an half day Tainan city tour of the Tainan Art Museum in 2020.


(Photo Credit | Chi Hsu)

Nihao

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