The Wei Wu Ying Center for the Arts in Kaohsiung City’s Fengshan (Fongshan) District, scheduled to be inaugurated at the end of 2015, will be the nation’s largest cultural facility in terms of both expenditure and area size, Taiwanese Premier Jiang Yi-huah said on August 16, 2014, while inspecting the progress of the facility’s construction.
Jiang added that he expects the project to be completed on time and in accordance with the high standards set for both the facilities and programming so that the center’s operations will run seamlessly.
In the past, developmental resources for cultural education and facilities in central and southern Taiwan had long fallen short of those for the north, the premier pointed out. In recent years the government has thus been striving to reduce rural-urban disparity and balance the development of northern and southern Taiwan, and the Wei Wu Ying Center will thus help boost southern Taiwan’s arts community, he stated. The facility has been in construction for several years and is estimated to cost about NT$10.1 billion (US$336.9 million).
The National Chiang Kai-shek Cultural Center in northern Taiwan, the Taichung Metropolitan Opera House in central Taiwan and the Wei Wu Ying Center for the Arts in southern Taiwan will be under the same non-departmental public body, and all will feature outstanding local and international performing artists and groups, the premier said.
This year and the next are major harvesting periods for national-level performing arts centers, the premier emphasized. Besides the Wei Wu Ying Center’s scheduled 2015 launch, the Taichung Metropolitan Opera House will begin operation a couple of months from now.
These three facilities will not only bring in the best performing arts groups from both at home and abroad; they will also help foster local arts groups and related administrative and management personnel. This will expedite the growth of arts audiences in southern Taiwan, as arts and cultural groups can develop sustainably only if the community of artists is sizable, Jiang noted.
In addition, the premier noted that it is of utmost importance that the center’s programming seamlessly integrate with its facilities. Chien Wen-pin, Wei Wu Ying Center’s director for performing arts and previously music director of the National Symphony Orchestra, assured that with his many years of international experience, he will have no problem with this task.
Jiang said he looks forward to the center’s inauguration and called on the public to join him in enjoying the excellent performances to be held there next year.