Master photographer Ko Si-chi highlights Tainan's artistic growth

The 90-year-old showcases work at remarkable Asir Art Museum, brainchild of Tainan businessman Wang Ching-hsiang

Work by Ko Si-chi  (Asir Art Museum photo) 

Work by Ko Si-chi  (Asir Art Museum photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The 90-year-old Taiwanese photographer Ko Si-chi (柯錫杰) has returned to his hometown of Tainan to showcase his works at Asir Art Museum (甘樂阿舍) until Jan. 4.

Asir Art Museum was established by the “Art Forest Project,” which was the brainchild of Tainan businessman, Wang Ching-hsiang (王慶祥). The founder of Daxin Art Museum (大新美術館) offered to develop the old building into a multi-functional private museum.

Wang Ching-hsiang, founder of Daxin Art Museum and the "Art Forest Project." (Taiwan News/Lyla Liu photo)

“Art Forest Project” funded artists to design and build the first floor into an exhibition venue, the second floor into a workshop space, the third floor was turned into artist studios, and the top floor is their home. Wang said the inspiration for this was local stores in Tainan that use the front as the store and the back as a factory.

Wang said it is important for all artists to have the opportunity to exhibit their works. Owning a museum means artists have their own exhibition space and can help other artists showcase their creations, too.

Wang pointed out he initially attempted to finance 10 museums in Tainan. The number currently stands at 13 museums, he said.

Even so, more artists need help so his new goal is to fund three museums a year. “If Tainan becomes a city full of museums, more people will want to visit a city full of cultural diversity.”

The artist Tseng Ying-tung (Asir Art Museum photo)

Wang’s ambitious dream four years ago was inspired by visionary artist Tseng Ying-tung (曾英棟). According to Tseng, it took him 10 seconds to agree to the plan, quit his full-time job as a university professor and give it a shot with Wang.

Asir Art Museum was the first seed that Wang and Tseng planted together and now it has grown into a big tree. The museum not only showcases Tseng’s artworks, but organizes international exhibitions and provides a place for artists and collectors to flourish.

Asir Art Museum is hosting the solo show, “Pristine Poetics: Ko Si-chi’s 90th Year of Photographic Art” until Jan. 4, 2020. The exhibition was previously at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.

Asir Art Museum will host a number of international artists next year. Further information is available on Facebook, at Asir Art Museum and Daxin Art Museum.

Asir Art Museum (Asir Art Museum photo)

Ko Si-chi's exhibition (Asir Art Museum photo)

Ko Si-chi's exhibition (Asir Art Museum photo)