Ji-an Art Village

 Ji-an Art Village
(Photo courtesy of Ji-an Art Village's Facebook)

Chinese name: 吉安好客藝術村
Located at: Hualien County (Eastern Taiwan)
Year of Establishment: 2013
Address: No. 477, Sec. 3, Zhongshan Rd., Ji-an Township, Hualien County

The Ji-an Art Village, which opened in 2018, is located in Ji-an Township, Hualien County. During the Japanese occupation period, Ji-an Township was the first government-run immigrant village in Taiwan. Most of the immigrants came from the banks of the Yoshino River in Tokushima Prefecture, Shikoku, Japan, hence the village was named "Yoshino Village" back then. At that time, many Hakka people from Taoyuan, Hsinchu, and Miaoli were hired by the Japanese to plant tobacco and develop the land for farming. Therefore, Ji-an Township is still the area with the most Hakka people in Hualien.
Ji-an Art Village
(Photo credit: Hualien County Government)

At that time, the Japanese government built the first shrine in Hualien in what is today’s Ji-an Art Village, and now the location of "Tung Blossom Square" was the pilgrimage route in the past. After the Second World War, the area was converted into a military camp. The traces of its early years have been wiped out. Only the "Monument of the Yoshino Shrine" and the "Monument to the development of Yoshino Village" remain, as well as a 200-year-old camphor tree, which stands witness to the many years that have passed.

Years ago, the Ji-an Township Office actively sought funding of over NT$40 million from the Hakka Affairs Council to carry out space improvement in stages, and eventually turned the 9,400-square-meter old military barracks into an art village. As planned by Ji-an Township Office, there are two exhibition halls in the Ji-an Art Village - Yoshino Village History Immigration Hall and Hakka Industry Heritage Hall. Apart from planning permanent exhibitions, the halls also serve as a stage for local artists to apply to hold exhibitions. There is also a cultural and creative museum, which displays cultural and creative works related to the art village. In addition to this, there are also several study classrooms that hold handcraft classes every weekend. The outdoor Tung Blossom Square, meanwhile, is a venue for community activities or large-scale events.