Huashan creative park spotlights Taipei’s vibrant cultural and creative scene

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HCP is a multipurpose cultural complex located in downtown Taipei (Taiwan Today)

HCP is a multipurpose cultural complex located in downtown Taipei (Taiwan Today)

TAIPEI (Taiwan Today) -- Taiwan’s cultural and creative industry started receiving large-scale public sector attention in 2002 after inclusion in the central government’s six-year national development plan. Eight years later, progress under the initiative was cemented with promulgation of the Law for the Development of the Cultural and Creative Industries.

The most visible result of such efforts was the establishment of five creative and cultural parks in the cities of Taipei, Taichung, Chiayi and Tainan, and Hualien in northern, central, southern and eastern Taiwan, respectively. Each facility utilized refurbished structures formerly operated state-run Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp. (TTL).

One of the leading examples of this successful repurposing initiative is Huashan 1914 Creative Park (HCP) in the heart of Taipei. Originally used as a distillery, the site traces its origins to Japanese colonial rule (1895-1945). Upon commencement of operations in 1920, the facility was one of the largest of its kind in Taiwan.

HCP was managed for more than four decades after the end of World War II by Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Monopoly Bureau, which was incorporated and renamed TTL in 2002. Distillery operations ceased in 1987, and the facility sat unused for more than decade.

In 2002, a restoration project was initiated by the central government with the aim of transforming the site into a cultural and creative park. Since opening in 2005, the 7.21-hectare facility overseen by the Ministry of Culture has grown into one of Taiwan’s most vibrant cultural centers. It is home to a celebrated live music venue, Legacy Taipei, as well as popular art house cinema, Spot Theater.

HCP regularly hosts concerts, exhibitions, lectures, theater shows and workshops. It is also a base for stores selling locally crafted designer goods, as well as stylish bars and restaurants. And on weekends, HCP is the location of a popular bazaar offering all manner of handicrafts and food items.

The transformation of HCP into a mecca of culture and creativity underscores the success of government policies aimed at breathing new life into Taiwan’s many historic structures. Preserving the past while raising public awareness of the country’s past is a core component of the MOC’s mission statement.


A street performer entertains visitors at HCP (Taiwan Today photo)

HCP was managed for more than four decades after the end of World War II by Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Monopoly Bureau, which was incorporated and renamed TTL in 2002. Distillery operations ceased in 1987, and the facility sat unused for more than decade.

In 2002, a restoration project was initiated by the central government with the aim of transforming the site into a cultural and creative park. Since opening in 2005, the 7.21-hectare facility overseen by the Ministry of Culture has grown into one of Taiwan’s most vibrant cultural centers. It is home to a celebrated live music venue, Legacy Taipei, as well as popular art house cinema, Spot Theater.


A former packaging facility at HCP is reborn as an art house cinema (Taiwan Today photo)

HCP regularly hosts concerts, exhibitions, lectures, theater shows and workshops. It is also a base for stores selling locally crafted designer goods, as well as stylish bars and restaurants. And on weekends, HCP is the location of a popular bazaar offering all manner of handicrafts and food items.

The transformation of HCP into a mecca of culture and creativity underscores the success of government policies aimed at breathing new life into Taiwan’s many storied structures. Preserving the past while raising public awareness of the country’s history is a core component of the MOC’s mission statement.


Stores selling locally crafted designer goods can be found in the alleys and corridors of HCP (Taiwan Today photo)