‘Glocal’ Manifestations: Insights into the City with Kaohsiung Local Hi
Since its inception in October 2018, National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) has won many awards and pushed out international collaborations to critical acclaim and the world has gotten to know Kaohsiung, the city on which it sits in.
One year on, Weiwuying takes one step further in providing insights to the harbor city, Kaohsiung. Kaohsiung Local Hi is a series of six theatrical works centered on different districts and characteristics within the city, made by local artists starting November to December 2019.
Six shows individually present the history, global views, communities, legacies and lineages of Kaohsiung, while in combination present a physical and informed journey into the harbor city. Audience members may find themselves as spectators as well as participants shaping the journey they choose to embark in theaters, public spaces, and unconventional outdoor stages.
CHIEN Wen-Pin, Artistic and General Director, points out, “being a center for all, we are definitely a global brand rooted in our local talents, ‘glocal’ if you may. Kaohsiung is a wow city with rich culture and history. It plays a significant role in Taiwan's development historically and economically. The city takes pride in ethnicities from the Hokkien, Hakka, veteran villages, indigenous communities and new settlers. Perhaps due the tropical climate, the people of Kaohsiung are said be born romantics and ardent spirits. Weiwuying is in place to show that passion and energies in magnitude and support our artists in creative works.”
Kaohsiung Local Hi is curated by former Taipei Arts Festival director and now Weiwuying's consultant, Yi-Wei KENG. According to KENG, the series exemplifies how Weiwuying as an international art center is simultaneously global and local. All six creations are new works either by local artists, or by bringing local and international artists in deeper exchange. The collaborations have revealed fresh perspectives to Kaohsiung culture. One may easily identify the western classics meeting traditional Taiwan characteristics or pop street dance greeting contemporary dancing. Not only does the series want to bring audiences into the arts center, moreover, to represent Kaohsiung touring the world.
Kicking off the series, Weiwuying and the city's other famed landmark, Kaohsiung Main Public Library invite KENG and artists in conversation to shed light into the creative process. Beginning October 1 until January 5, the library coordinates a Local Hi themed book exhibition. Deputy Director of Kaohsiung Main Public Library, Kuan-Yu LIN remarked how the library has continuously worked with arts and culture organizations, and “the breadth of Kaohsiung Local Hi will appeal to a wide range of audiences, from toddlers to elders, the library looks forward to seeing the citizens discover or rediscover a new cultural map.”
Chien-Ke YANG from King's Town Bank, the main supporter of Kaohsiung Local Hi added, “Local Hi's need local support, and although King's Town Bank is not the largest in size, but certainly anticipate to be the strongest supporting role with Kaohsiung Local Hi and citizens of the city.”