Art Bank Taiwan, the Ministry of Culture's program for promoting upcoming Taiwanese artists, held a series of workshops for children and elderly patients at Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital this autumn.
In collaboration with the Department of Fine Arts of Chang Jung Christian University, "Sun Island by the Harbor” brought artists, games, and art to the hospital's Children's Ward, Day Care Center, Department of Psychiatry, Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, and Hospice to create a therapeutic and relaxing environment for patients and redirect their attention away from pain and fright.
During the two-week-long event, the one of the workshops titled "Walking Around the City” helped children and members of the public paint maps of Kaohsiung from their memories. These picture maps will later be printed out and posted on the windows along the corridor of the children's clinic.
"Tangram Animal,” on the other hand, guided children to create all kinds of animals through geometric collages. These works will be displayed on the walls of the third hospital floor for visitors and patients to feel like they are walking in a forest.
In addition to activities for children, the workshop titled "Memory is My Courage” invited local artists Taifong Lin (林慶芳) and Kang Ya-chu (康雅筑) to create artworks with senior citizens from the Day Care Center to help them bring back memories of the things and people they like and value.
Moreover, artists including Huang Chien-hua (黃建樺), Huang Bo-xun (黃柏勳), Ke Chen-chieh (葛振傑), and Shen Jian-long (沈建龍) were commissioned to create artworks for the medical room to provide an artistic and therapeutic environment for doctors, patients, and visitors alike.
Director Hsiao Tsung-huang (蕭宗煌) of the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts noted that the Art Bank Taiwan took inspiration from Kaohsiung's hospitable culture and harbor landscape that is full of sunshine. By bringing warmth and colors to the hospital through art, the project has turned the hospital into a warm island where children and adults are received with genuine hospitality.