Jens Chen

On 16 December 2016 at the newly-opened Songshan Creative Lab in Taipei, the British Council in Taiwan, partnering with Songshan Culture & Creative Park (SCCP), presented the first Chinese-English report and short documentary film about Taiwan’s local creative hub development followed by an international forum discussion“Now & Future: Creative Hubs”. Six hub directors from all over Taiwan are invited to share at the forum each of their vision, business philosophy, and operation experiences in areas of Artist Residence, Old Neighbourhood Regeneration and Makerspace Development with 60 participating local creative artists, administrators, press and government officials .  

In this mapping report, we have interviewed 10 selected hubs from rural county to urban cities, representing five major types of creative hub in Taiwan, including Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Taitung.  Based on the type of Talents and Synergy to be produced by the hubs, the five types of hubs are: Lifestyle-oriented (Tiehua Village/Zheng Xin Street/FantasyStory Micro Cultural Cluster/URS 155), Arts-based (Cloud Gate Theatre/Bamboo Curtain Studio), Knowledge-based (OpenLab Taipei), Brand-forward (Culture & Creativity Incubation and R&D Center, National Cheng Kung University) and Imaginative Power (Songshan Culture & Creative Park/ Pier-2 Art Center). Testimonies from these hub owners on their core value, business governance model, and operational challenges are collected via in-depth interviews.  4 creative industry observers from urban planning background are also interviewed to contribute their thoughts and comments on local government policy, trends and social impact creative hubs face in Taiwan to enable deeper understanding of Taiwan’s context. 

The report highlights the significant contribution of the creative hubs on artist development, old neighbourhood regeneration, and creative enterprise incubation. They offer a welcoming environment where people meet, exchange ideas and challenge their own boundaries. They play an important part in changing the city’s identity and urban development. The hubs have become a source of inspiration for creativity and networking places for people working in the creative and business sectors.

The report also reveals the issues the creative hubs face in Taiwan.  The issues include the need of better way to evaluate creative hubs’ success rather than over-relying on KPI assessment; the need to invest more in training professional arts administrators to better support artists; the need for local authority to help retaining reasonable rentals for creative spaces against inflation in property development; the need for wider international network and the need to attain a balanced collaboration and open communication channel between government direction (top-down) and grass root creative hub development (bottom-up).  

These findings provide useful indications for the future program development on creative hub network and training between UK and Taiwan.

Full version of the report could be downloaded below.  You can also view the creative hub documentary film on below link. 

External links