Cultural and Creative Parks are something really unique for Taiwan, it’s a place, where nature and culture meets together. It’s a place, where you can see, how artists work and even purchase local pieces. It’s a place, where you can admire exhibitions for a small fee or even for free . Sounds good? Then check out these four reasons, why you really have to go to Songshan Cultural and Creative Park.
In this article I will work through:
Its architectural style belongs to the genre of “Japanese Early Modernism”, with emphasis placed on horizontal lines, simple classic shapes, and refined workmanship. It employed the concept of an “industrial village”, and besides the production line, the benefits and needs of the plant’s employees were taken into consideration for the design of the site. With its large open spaces and courtyards, the site was a pioneering design for industrial plants at that time.
The Songshan Cultural and Creative Park all started 1937 when Japanese Colonialist decided to build the “Taiwan Sōtokufu Tobacco Monopoly Bureau”. In the year 1939 the boiler room, mechanical maintenance factory, and tobacco Factory were completed and ready to produce tobacco with 1200 employees. After the end of the reign of the Japanese, the Taiwanese government took over the factory and converted it into the “Taiwanese Provincial Tobacco and Alcohol Monopoly Bureau Songshan Plant”.
In 2001 the Taipei City Government declared the site as the 99th Cultural Heritage site of the city and renamed it to Songshan Cultural and Creative Park. On November 15th, 2011 it officially opened to the public and has been transformed into a creative hub of Taiwan since then.
The Songshan Cultural and Creative Park nowadays is a large public park with exhibition halls, art shows, and conference spaces. It’s on an area of 6.6 hectares, which gives it more than enough space for a baroque garden, a small lake and loads of natural areas to walk through.
The Baroque Garden is enclosed by the tobacco factory by three sections, the garden has a fountain that is surrounded by sculptures of naked women emerging from their baths.
At the northern end of the complex is The New Horizon Shopping center which is home to a new Eslite Living. It is a multistory complex, which houses an Eslite Bookstore, a music and vinyl record shop, a food court , as well as independent merchants selling unique art pieces and running workshops for the public to join.
There are various temporary exhibitions and events in the park, for the current one check out the official website. They are mostly taking place in within the old Tobacco Factory, including the Taiwan Design Center.
From the 30th of April to the 3th of May took place the art exhibition “Practicing in the depth of the night”. It had various art pieces from various artists to this topic. It toured through whole Taiwan and on my opinion, was one of the best art exhibitions I’ve seen for a long time.
As mentioned before, there are a lot of art shops within the former Tobacco buildings and the New Horizon Shopping Center. All of them show products of local artists, designer and engineers and are all completely unique by its own.
Every weekend there are taking place art markets, that means even more local designers and artists show their newest products and creations. Also the area will be extra crowded due to it’s popularity.
It’s a beautiful cultural and creative park, which can be highly interesting even without having to pay anything. This place is perfect for art and nature lovers and for people wanting to purchase nice artsy stuff made in Taiwan. If you want to know more about Songshan district, follow the link.