Meinong Cultural and Creative Center

Meinong Cultural and Creative Center
(Photo credit: 美濃文創中心 Facebook)

Chinese name:

Located at: Kaohsiung City (Southern Taiwan)

Year of Establishment: 2015

Address:  212 Yong’an Road, Meinong District, Kaohsiung City

The Meinong Cultural and Creative Center is located in Meinong District of Kaohsiung City, at the intersection of the old street Yong’an Road and Zhongzheng Road. It was the place where the Lin brothers first led the people to settle in and develop Meinong during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It was also the place where the Hakka volunteer militia trained. During the Japanese occupation (1895-1945), the town office, the police station, the credit union, and the public school were established here. It is Meinong’s political, economic, and education center, and is currently the busiest and the most lively neighborhood in Meinong.

The Meinong police station, built in 1902, was a Baroque-style building with gun fortresses, bomb shelters, bell towers, octagonal windows, and washed stone columns. Its walls are made of 13-groove tiles, which is a kind of common tile produced in the early 20th century. After being exposed to sun and rain for more than 80 years, it’s amazing that only six pieces of tiles were damaged and replaced.

Before the merger of Kaohsiung County and City, the Meinong Town Office at one time had financial difficulties. The police station and the Japanese-style police dormitory were on the brink of being auctioned off. In 2008, it was listed as a historic building.

Since 2013, the municipal government has invested more than NT$170 million in the renovation and reconstruction of the historical space. In addition to restoring the original features of the two historical buildings, the Meinong police station and the Japanese-style dormitory, a new education and arts hall was built.  Surrounding environments including Shuangfeng Park Trail were beautified, creating a historical site that is one of the most  important public constructions for Meinong in 100 years. The Meinong Cultural and Creative Center, which was completed at the end of 2015, has become a new cultural base.

The Meinong Cultural and Creative Center provides books, reading space and art services. The hall has a Meinong Study area that has a collection of research and other books about Meinong, and has become a window for visitors to learn about Meinong’s culture, industry and tourism.

The surrounding Kaizhuang Square hosts various innovative arts and cultural events, drama and music performances, as well as the Hakka market. The Center also promotes resident artists' works, passing on the Hakka culture to younger generations and spreading it to a wider population. Since a long time ago, the region, with a high level of development in the art and culture fields, has been a stronghold of Hakka culture. The integration of tradition and modernity in the Center bears witness to the historical changes of Meinong, making it an important new place to experience and understand Hakka culture.