Taiwan’s National Palace Museum Southern Branch (NPMSB) is expected to enrich the educational and cultural environs of southern Taiwan’s Yunlin and Chiayi counties as well as Tainan City, ushering in the development of tourism as well as cultural and creative industries, National Palace Museum (NPM) Director Fung Ming-chu stated today. Fung made these remarks on the “Open Mic” YouTube live webcast.
The NPMSB, which is located in Taibao City of Chiayi County, will open December 28 for a six-month trial period. All citizens nationwide are allowed to visit free of charge until March 2016. Residents of Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan, however, can visit for free until June 2016 provided they bring their national identification card.
Presently all visits are on a reservation basis. The January 2016 visiting quota is already full, and reservation for February will begin January 20.
Fung pointed out that the NPMSB is a diamond-level smart and green building. The architectural concept originated from the three techniques of Chinese ink wash painting: nongmo (flying white), feibai (thick dark ink) and xuanran (applying colors to drawings). From a bird’s-eye view, the building resembles a Chinese treasure bowl, but seen from afar it looks like a large sycee placed in the lush green Chiayi plains.
The UK-based International Architecture Showcase 2013 selected the NPMSB as the iconic structure in the cultural category. Kris Yao, founder of Artech Inc., is the building’s planner and designer.
The overall direction of NPMSB exhibition planning, focus and timing differs from that of the NPM in Taipei, Fung pointed out. That said, the NPM consists of one organization, employs the same management system and showcases the same artifacts. Manpower will be fully and flexibly mobilized to run the two branches.
In response to netizens’ questions concerning how the NPMSB will help the public experience Taiwan’s unique cultural creativity while ushering in cultural and economic development as well as local industries in central and southern Taiwan, Fung cited tea as an example. The tea merchants of central and southern Taiwan expect Taiwan’s cultural and creative products to include tea. The NPMSB has a registered trademark and is expected to sell tea in the coming year, incorporating the industry.
Regarding the NPMSB providing relevant interactive new media services, Fung pointed out that the NPM has already won innumerable awards in new media arts exhibitions. Many of the NPMSB exhibits incorporate new media arts designs, such as “Multimedia Gallery Guide: Understanding Asian Art” and the “Flow of Time: A Brief History of Chiayi.” All such exhibits have produced new media films to provide ancillary information and engender atmosphere.
A netizen asked if the NPMSB would introduce foreign exhibitions besides the 10 major exhibits for the opening ceremony. Fung noted that the opening exhibits include two international exhibitions: “The Enduring Beauty of Celadon: A Special Exhibition of Goryeo Celadons” and “Sailing the High Seas: Imari Porcelain Wares.” In addition, in 2016 the NPMSB will showcase “The Best of Japanese Fine Arts” and in 2017 it will exchange exhibits with the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. All NPMSB exhibitions up to 2019 have already been planned.