Initiating the Weiwuying Eyes and Ears Project Helping the Hearing and Visually impaired to Experience the Beauty of Weiwuying with Fubon Financial
Ever since the opening in 2018, National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) has strived to be an art center for the people, hoping that everyone, regardless of background, will be able to find art events and participation methods that suit them. This Spring, Weiwuying is collaborating with Fubon Financial, Parents' Association for the Visually Impaired, and Taiwan Association of Sign Language Interpreters to introduce the Eyes and Ears Project, an inclusive program specially curated for the visually and hearing impaired. The project includes physical experiences of the venue, the construction of an inclusive website, braille publications, and art participation. By establishing various facilities and programs, Weiwuying makes an effort to provide a friendly space for visitors with visual and hearing impairment and creates an opportunity for all visitors to experience the beauty of Weiwuying, taking a step further towards cultural accessibility and equality.
Weiwuying artistic director CHIEN Wen-Pin stated: “One of Weiwuying’s mission is to promote cultural accessibility and equality. Many people have visited the venue since the opening, and we quickly realized that our introduction facilities are not inclusive for visitors with visual and hearing impairment. We have learned a lot throughout the several months of intensive communication with Parents' Association for the Visually Impaired and Taiwan Association of Sign Language Interpreters. The Eyes and Ears project aims to find the most suitable method for introducing the venue so that the visually and hearing impaired will also be able to approach and experience the beauty of Weiwuying. We are lucky to have Fubon Financial as a partner; not only have they assisted in the production of programs including Turandot, but have also been excellent support for this program.
The Eyes and Ears project introduces the venue through vision, hearing, smell, touch, taste and bodily sensations, while iPads, braille publications in English and Mandarin, tactile images, sign language interpreters, and professional guides will assist visitors with visual and hearing impairment to stroll within and experiences the public spaces of Weiwuying. The guide will be available once every month, each lasting for 70 minutes, with reservations open on the official webpage. Five teams, a total of 10 places, will be available for each session (one for a visually or hearing-impaired visitor and one for an accompanying participant). Reservations from May till July is now open to visitors.
The art participation session includes two programs, consisting of three inclusive participative events that will take places at the Banyan Plaza. Events include the Tree Hollow Electronic Music on August 24th, which will be inviting two electronic music groups. These performers will employ image changes and sound vibration to create an electronic musical party for the hearing impaired. The Ears Project silent cinema is arranged to take place on the 30th and 31st of August, showcasing Oscars Best Live Action Short Film The Silent Child and Found in the UK, a documentary about three characters with hearing impairment. The two outstanding works will be shared through sign language.
An inclusive webpage is also under construction. Visitors with visual and hearing impairment will be able to access programs that suit their interests and tastes as options for entertainment, getting together with friends, and trying new, life-enriching activities. The construction of the inclusive website is a collaboration with engineers from Parents' Association for the Visually Impaired, and Taiwan Association of Sign Language Interpreters and is scheduled to qualify for the accessible website A standard the at the end of this year. For more information about the Eyes and Ears Project.