Songshan Cultural and Creative Park bolsters Taipei’s arts scene

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Former warehouses serve as popular exhibition venues at Songshan Cultural and Creative Park (Photo/Taiwan Today/Taiwan Design Center)

Former warehouses serve as popular exhibition venues at Songshan Cultural and Creative Park (Photo/Taiwan Today/Taiwan Design Center)

In May or June each year, thousands of university design students from across Taiwan gather at Songshan Cultural and Creative Park in Taipei City to display their graduation projects. Organized by SCCP, the exhibition is a major draw for industry insiders and curious visitors alike, attracting more than 200,000 showgoers last year. The event enables emerging talents to spotlight their creations while underscoring Songshan’s status as one of the nation’s foremost cultural centers.

Dating to the Japanese colonial period (1895-1945), the former tobacco factory in Taipei’s bustling Xinyi District was designated a heritage site by the city government in 2001. After undergoing renovations, it reopened in 2011 as a multifaceted cultural complex.

The 6.6-hectare park is overseen by Taipei City Government’s Department of Cultural Affairs and operated by Taipei Culture Foundation. It is centered on the main factory building, refurbished into a multipurpose facility comprising event spaces, restaurants and stores, and also features five exhibition venues converted from warehouses.

SCCP’s international profile received a major boost in 2016 when it hosted the International Design House Exhibition, one of the main events organized by the city during its tenure as World Design Capital. Taipei was awarded the prestigious honor by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, a nonprofit organization based in Montreal.

The park organizes a year-round calendar of large-scale cultural events. One of the highlights is the Taipei Original Festival. First held in 2012, it spotlights diverse works by local talents in genres spanning drama, handicrafts, illustration, music performances and photography.

To strengthen the city’s creative scene, SCCP also operates Songyan Creative Lab, a 660-square-meter space in the main factory building for multimedia exhibitions, rehearsals and theater performances.

According to SCCP Executive Director Jasmine Chou, the park brims with energy and interactivity, providing an engaging cultural destination for people of all ages. By encouraging unconventional methods of creation and exhibition, it aims to strengthen the connection between artists and members of the public, she said.

An industrial designer displays his prototype feather duster in the coworking space at SCCP (Photo/Taiwan Today)