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Mayor Tours Yokohama Art Spaces

On January 28, Mayor Ko Wen-je visited Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, BankART1929, and Koganecho Area Management Center in Yokohama City to explore the Japanese city’s experience in revitalizing idle spaces with art.
According to the Department of Cultural Affairs, Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse had laid derelict until the late 1980s, when the city mounted a campaign to “bring the port to its past glory.” What used to be a dilapidated warehouse was overhauled, becoming a facility retaining its European-style architecture while serving as a venue for cultural and commercial activity.
BankArt1929 has engaged in artist-in-residence programs in collaboration with Taipei Artist Village since 2005. After years of historical building invigoration and experimental undertakings, the facility has become a creative hub in Yokohama where young generation artists interact.
Koganecho Area Management Center, on the other hand, has emerged from a red light district during the post-World War II era into an artistic community today, thanks to the government’s creative city initiative implemented since 2004. The center distinguishes itself from other art centers with the move to transform unused space and bridge piers into art studios. It is a successful example of how historic blocks can find new life in a modern setting.
Following the trip to the art facilities, Ko observed that the lessons obtained from Japan, South Korea, and other cities will be used as references for Taipei as it seeks to recreate its cultural scene. The city government will study whether Yokohamo’s approach to invigorating idle spaces is applicable for Taipei.