Weiwuying Opening Special Exhibition Taiwanese Opera Time Machine: Time Travel that Showcases the Ancient Charm of Taiwanese Opera
Taiwanese opera is the only form of drama that originated in Taiwan and is considered an embodiment of Taiwanese folk culture. For over a century, Taiwanese opera has evolved alongside the tide of history. The opening special exhibition Taiwanese Opera Time Machine of National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) presents the stage, costumes, props, vintage records, and films on the indoor stage of the venue. Events including the exhibition, tour, “Master Lectures,” and “Taiwanese Opera Theatre,” will be open to the public until January 1st, 2019, allowing visitors a glimpse of the charm of Taiwanese opera.
Designed as time travel, this exhibition presents how Taiwanese opera was originally held under large trees. As time went by, Taiwanese opera became a staple outside local temples, gradually moving into indoor theatres, radios, Taiwanese film, and finally became major television programs. This timeline showcases the charm of Taiwanese opera and how it has transformed with the passing of time, incorporating the different qualities of culture to form its unique style.
To allow more audiences a deeper understanding towards Taiwanese opera’s ability to adapt with the changes of culture, the exhibition will re-present how the art form was showcased through the radio, outdoor stages, and television. This method provides visitors with a new perspective towards Taiwanese opera and the vitality of this Taiwanese traditional theatre performance through stage presentations, images, and recordings, both from the stage and behind the scenes.
Chiang Ming-Lung believes that this exhibition has the ability to resurrect memories regarding Taiwanese opera, stating that: “Many elderly visitors were reminded of memories once they enter the exhibition space, saying that ‘This was how we enjoyed Taiwanese opera when I was little.’ Riguang Opera Troupe is located next to Weiwuying; upon seeing related records, a young visitor pointed to a figure within a picture, proudly stating to people nearby that the person is a family member.”
Apart from exhibitions and tour guides, a series of events including “Master Lectures” and “Taiwanese Opera Theatre” are also scheduled throughout the exhibition period. The “Master Lectures” introduces local Kaohsiung art group Riguang Opera Troupe and Gong-Le Troupe of Mailiao Township, Yunlin County, alongside other topics. Every evening at 6:00, “Taiwanese Opera Theatre” will be presenting the documentation of Taiwan’s first 35mm Taiwanese film Xue Pin-Gui and Wang Bao-Chuan. Furthermore, seven classic Taiwanese opera films including The Three Wandering Siblings, The Beggar and the Lady, and Sun and Pang's War of Nerve will be played throughout the event, presenting visitors with the spectacular art of Taiwanese opera.