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Tainan Art Museum Building One Holds Soft Opening After a Six-Decade Wait

 
Tainan Art Museum (TAM) held their Soft Opening Ceremony for Building 1 on the morning of October 20. Mayor Li Men-yen was invited to the joyous occasion to witness this major event. After the ceremony, the mayor and guests entered the museum and admired its rich collection and the restored historical building. Mayor Li expressed with confidence that TAM will become a new popular attraction on Tainan's culture tourism itinerary, welcoming visitors from all backgrounds to this important art and culture site. During the soft opening period, the museum will welcome visitors with three major exhibitions: "Your Support!", an exhibition of donated artworks; “The Experience”, an exhibition about the restoration of traditional architecture in Taiwan; and "Notes on Restoration", an exhibition about collection restoration.
 
"Infrastructure can make a city or country stronger, but only culture can make a city greater," remarked Mayor Li in his opening speech. He believes this is the best description of current Tainan. Tainan has many ongoing hard infrastructure projects at the moment, but what makes Tainan stand out from other cities is Tainan’s rich historical and cultural background. In addition to over 200 cultural sites and historical buildings, Tainan also has many outstanding artists which infuse the city with extraordinary taste.
 
Li then remarked that the establishment of Tainan Art Museum, which everyone has been waiting eagerly for 60 years, carries three significant meanings. First, the building is a revival of an old historical building which used to be the Tainan Police Department during the Japanese Occupation Period. The city government team managed to restore it to its former glory. Secondly, the rich museum collection is a collective effort of the private and public sector. Mayor Li pointed out that before its opening, TAM already had over 2,000 pieces, and most of them were donated by the public from their own private collections. He especially mentioned the mosaic art piece by Yen Shui-long in the museum lobby. The original Japanese collector actually contacted the museum for the donation. Cultural Affairs Bureau Director-General Jason Yeh personally traveled to Japan to finalize the paperwork and escort the artwork back to Tainan. 
 
Thirdly, since TAM is situated at a very popular location in the historical area, it will bring a brand new atmosphere to the neighborhood. Mayor Li pointed out that the museum is surrounded by the National Museum of Taiwan Literature, Confucius Temple, Tainan District Court, and the Patriotic Women's Association. These are all precious historical assets left to us by our ancestors, forming a perfect environment for our new art museum. In the end Li expressed that he hopes Tainan Art Museum will become a platform where artists and art lovers can exchange ideas and interact with each other, and that more artists can improve their skills and be seen by Taiwan and even the world.
 
Tainan Art Museum Chairman Chen Huei-tung remarked that after eight years of hardship and challenges, TAM finally opened its doors today. In addition to thanking Premier William Lai for his efforts and support during his term as mayor, Chen also thanked the city government team for their dedication in supervising construction progress so that the building could be completed successfully. Finally, he invited everyone to visit on December 15, 2018, when the two buildings of Tainan Art Museum officially open!
 
Cultural Affairs Bureau Director-General Jason Yeh thanked the central government for their support so that the Tainan Art Museum project could be concluded successfully. Furthermore, Yeh expressed that since the collection is the soul of the museum, he is very grateful to the collectors and art lovers who donated artworks and enriched the museum's collection.
 
Tainan Art Museum Director Pan Fan remarked that in addition to the existing historical building, Building 1 of the museum also has an additional new building in the back which will be used as a large exhibition space. The interior is designed according to international standards (with a 5.5 meters high ceiling). The first and second floors are exhibition and loading areas, and the third floor is the collection storage and restoration rooms. Hopefully the museum will develop diverse directions in various fields, and, starting next year, will also exhibit artworks overseas. TAM aims to become an international art museum with a unique local flair.