Tasked with the twin objectives of promoting artistic creation and environmental protection, the Jou Jou Mountain Art and Ecological Park (九九峰生態藝術園區) was inaugurated in central Taiwan on Aug. 25.
The 4.8-hectare art-oriented ecological park is part of the renovations aimed at revitalizing Nantou County, a region devastated by a magnitude-7.3 earthquake in 1999. The facility will host resident artists, provide space for exhibitions, and offer natural landscapes in the hopes of attracting visitors from urbanized Taiwan regions.
"In a return to simplicity and the roots of creativity, the park will combine the environment, arts, and lifestyle,” Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai explained at the inaugural ceremony on Aug. 25. "Parents are encouraged to bring their children to the Jou Jou Mountain park to see the purity of art and nature.”
The ceremony culminated with the planting of the indigo shrub, which was the original source of the homonymousblue hue. As she packed the soil around her shrub, Minister Lung noted that the plant's unwavering vitality mirrors that of the Jou Jou Mountain community.
The park has already welcomed its first group of resident artists, some of whom will experiment with natural dyes made with local plants, while others may weave with bamboo and sculpt with wood. Artwork made with organic materials is also on exhibit at the park.
Under the management of the National Taiwan Crafts and Research Development Center (NTCRI), the park is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9am to 5pm at No. 152 Jianxing Road, Pinglin Village, Caotun Township, Nantou County (南投縣草屯鎮平林里健行路152號).
Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai (second left) and other esteemed guests pose with their newly planted indigo shrubs.