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Digital art finds a home in Taipei's Shilin district

Six years in the making, the NT$25 million (US$756,000) avant-garde art facility, the Taipei Digital Art Center, is now officially open to the public. Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin made the announcement at the center's inaugural ceremony on Sunday.

"The Taipei Digital Art Center is the first of its kind in Asia," said Hau in his opening address at the center. Hau added that the site of Digital Art Center is very close to the future location of the Taipei Performing Arts Center in Shilin, and it also neighbors the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, making the whole surrounding area a cultural stronghold in Taiwan's capital city.

The current location of Digital Art Center, Taipei, is the former site of Taipei City Shilin District Fifth Meat Wholesale Market, Hau noted, saying that the project is a perfect example of how to give new life to old buildings. The center is now operated under the auspices of the Digital Art Foundation. The newly opened center's CEO Huang Wen-hao said that Taiwan has long lacked a facility in which it can integrate its digital art resources. The center aims to address this shortcoming while establishing an information platform and hosting the annual Taipei Digital Art Festival, he said.

With public participation in the center a priority, management plans to erect external "Digital Walls" and invite submissions for long-term digital showings. There is also a "Creative Club Lab" on the second floor which is available to art professionals. The first DAC exhibitions include "The Light of Historical Ending" by Tao Ya-lun and "Kodomo Manufacture" by Ma Chun-fu.

"The Light of Historical Ending" is a laser projection piece that creates stunning effects when light beams pass through a visitor's body. Ma's "Kodomo Manufacture" employs suspended channels to symbolize factory production lines - a cynical take on an educational system that churns out "good children" as production line outputs.

The center's first example of installation art is Tseng Wei-hao's "Speaker Tree," which won top prize in the first Taipei Digital Art Awards in the interactive installation category. Taipei National University of the Arts is also providing "E-bar" - a piece presenting images of flowers and leaves in ceramic bowls.

The Taipei Digital Art Center is located at 180, Fuhua Rd., Shilin, Taipei, near Zhishan MRT station. For more information, please call (02)77360708.

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