Pictures and words by Yang, Jing-Yi
Translated by Cara Steenstra
Situated in the cultural district of Taichung's Shuangshi Road, Wen Ying Hall was quiet for a very long time. However, the city Cultural Affairs Bureau has selected Corridor Arts--a company which has successfully operated Corridor Cafe branches at National Taiwan University, the National Theater and National Concert Hall--to help create the new image for this artistic space, turning it into a combination café dining area that re-opened in March.
The refurbished Wen Ying Hall has kept its traditional Taiwanese Block Print Art Special Collection Room, Artifacts Preservation Room and two main exhibition rooms as an art and cultural display area. The rest of the premises have undergone significant changes. The original parking lot has been transformed into the outdoor Starlight Theatre, accommodating an audience of up to 250. This performance theatre under the sky is available for al fresco performances by theatrical groups, amateur groups, community organizations, schools or others. The bar next to the stage offers drinks and meals, so that audiences can watch the performances while sipping a Hazelnut Milk Tea or a rich cup of latte, reveling in a romantic date with art and culture under the stars.
Situated on the right hand side of the main entrance is Splendor Hall, which was renovated from what was originally known as Zhongzheng Hall. Apart from a stage expansion, heavy curtains have been added to improve the acoustics of the hall itself. The result is an excellent meeting place as well as performance area, well equipped with basic stage sound and lighting equipment that can accommodate different forms of performances or activities. The indoor area can accommodate between 400 to 500 people and seating arrangements can be altered to suit different purposes.
Organizers say that the hall has been named Splendor Hall because it is hoped that a new generation of audiences and local artistic performers can enjoy a better performance venue and display their splendor. The hall's second-floor classroom has also been transformed into cafe Salon, holding over 100 people. The cafe is also available for personal and small-scale artistic performances. All this will help insure that art and culture lovers find Wen Ying Hall to be a great place for rest, relaxation and artistic pursuits.
Once being an artistic hub for central Taiwan, Wen Ying Hall has been re-launched as Splendor Hall and Corridor Cafe Theater. This malgamation of cafe, dining and art now focuses on performance arts, with complementary artistic exhibits on the side, adding more variety to art and cultural activities in Taichung.