Skip to main content

Soulangh Cultural Park

  • Date:2023-09-14

Chinese Name: 蕭壠文化園區

Address: Liu’an No. 130, Liu’an Village, Jiali District, Tainan City 

Built: 1906


Did You Know?

 "Soulangh" is the name of a Taiwanese indigenous Siraya community, located in the present-day Jiali District (佳里區) of Tainan City. In the Siraya language, "Soulangh" is said to mean "land of contracts." In the documents of the Dutch East India Company, it is variously transcribed as "Soelang(h)," "Soulang(h)," "Soelaenge," and other variations.

In 1906, the first modern sugar factory in Taiwan was established there by the Japanese Meiji Sugar Company, later becoming Jiali Sugar Factory (佳里糖廠). The predecessor of Soulangh Cultural Park was a group of 14 warehouses belonging to the Jiali Sugar Factory, covering an area of approximately 13.8 hectares. During the Japanese colonial period, a railway was used to transport sugar, connecting the 14 warehouses and forming the distinctive north and south corridors of Soulangh.

In 1998, Taiwan Sugar Corporation ended its sugar production operations at Jiali Sugar Factory. In 2001, the Executive Yuan’s Council for Cultural Affairs (now the Ministry of Culture) identified the revitalization and reuse of idle spaces as one of its key policies and launched the “Local Cultural Museum Project,” aiming to explore the local cultural and historical characteristics based on community development. The Tainan County Government designated Jiali Sugar Factory as one of the priority transformation sites.

In 2003, the Soulangh Cultural Park Preparatory Office was established to renovate the abandoned warehouses, preserve the original architectural features, and beautify the natural environment with trees and greenery. The warehouses were renovated and transformed into different interior spaces, and in January 2005, the park officially opened to the public, presenting the sugar factory in a new artistic and cultural light. The unique cultural atmosphere and green architecture of Jiali Sugar Factory were given a new mission and appearance through the reuse of idle spaces.

Since its opening in 2005, Soulangh Cultural Park gained recognition through hosting two consecutive World Candy Culture Festivals with a sugar industry theme. From 2006 onwards, it also co-organized large-scale events such as the Taiwan Design Expo for three consecutive years. Subsequently, the park began hosting various themed exhibitions or providing exhibition spaces for individual artists and student graduation works. In line with the Ministry of Culture’s support for the operation of art villages, the Tainan City Government’s Cultural Affairs Bureau has been promoting interaction between artists and residents through art workshops and various performances since 2013, offering artist residency programs to enhance artistic exchanges between Tainan and the international community, with Soulangh International Art Village as the base, providing professional artists with creative spaces.

Soulangh Cultural Park includes two permanent exhibitions: the Siraya Cultural Relics Exhibition (西拉雅平埔族文化館) and the Tainan Yizhen Exhibition (臺南藝陣館).

The Siraya people originally inhabited the area between Tainan and the Hengchun Peninsula (恆春半島) and is the largest indigenous group among the so-called "lowlands" indigenous peoples. They are also recognized as the designated indigenous people of Tainan by the local government. The name of Soulangh Cultural Park is derived from the Soulangh community, one of four major Siraya communities in the past. The Siraya Cultural Relics exhibition showcases the lifestyle of the Siraya, aiming to provide visitors with a better understanding of the history and culture of the Siraya people.

The Tainan Yizhen Exhibition focuses on recreating the unique temple festival Yizhen from various regions in Tainan. "Yizhen (藝陣)" is a combination of "yige (藝閣)" and "zhentou (陣頭)," two traditional forms of folk art performance commonly seen in welcoming deities and temple festivals, such as the Eight Generals Array (八家將) and lion and dragon dances. The exhibition presents local traditional beliefs and culture, including the worship of deities, and also houses a collection of clay sculptures from Jiali Xingzhen Temple (佳里興震興宮) with dating back over 300 years.

In addition, the former office space of Jiali Sugar Factory has been transformed into the Soulangh Children's Library. In 2008, with the support of the Council for Cultural Affairs, the Tainan County Government collected over 13,000 books from major publishers, entrepreneurs, children’s literature authors, and other sectors. After screening and organizing, nearly 12,000 books were selected, and the library was officially opened on October 10, 2009. The library is a member of the Tainan City Public Library, providing local residents with a high-quality reading space for parents and children.

(Photo courtesy of Soulangh Cultural Park)