Hualien-Taitung Line’s Xincheng (Taroko) Station Gets a Facelift: Newly Renovated Station Showcases Art and Boasts the Hualien-Taitung Line’s First Grandeur Entrance
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Railway Reconstruction Bureau
Located at the entrance of Taroko Gorge National Park, Xincheng (Taroko) Station underwent renovation work beginning in November 2012. Now, the station’s new and improved look resembles a well-crafted art piece. The theme of the station’s appearance is “door”, and the metaphor for the v-shaped entrance is Liwu River, which cuts and weaves through Taroko Gorge. Visitors who come to the station will be treated to a visual experience when they see how this entrance, which is the first of its kind in the area, displays the spirit and uniqueness of Hualien and Taitung. Furthermore, calligraphist Zhu Zhen-nan inscribed the station’s entrance signboard, and thus added even more culture to the station. The renovation work makes the transportation facilities more convenient, the station now enjoys a passenger-friendly environment, and it also displays gorgeous art in a public space, showing that transportation, culture, and art are more beautiful when they’re together. Xincheng (Taroko) Station’s public art was created by two female artists. The art pieces are described in detail below: 1) The Railway Reconstruction Bureau (RRB) and the National Museum of History collaborated on this piece that used kiln glass (similar to stained glass) techniques to reproduce the painting collection The Beauty of Taroko, which was made by late ink wash (similar to water color) artist Pai-sui Ma, who was both a painter and a professor. Inside the station, there are six themes of Ma’s work: “Spring Wind in Taroko”, “During a Summer Rain at Eternal Spring Shrine”, “Autumn Leaves on Jinfeng Bridge”, “Winter Snow at the Tunnel of Nine Turns”, “Sunlight Shining Off Cimu Pavilion”, and “Moonlight Illuminating Tianfeng Pagoda”. Made by local Hualien artist Chen Yan-jun, the entire art piece is 27 meters by 3.5 meters. Complete with lights, the artwork displays Taiwanese landscapes that anyone in the world can see if they happen to walk through the station’s entrance. 2) Weaving artist Lin Jie-wen (who belongs to the Truku, or Taroko, tribe) designed this piece, which is called “Weaving Road”, and this collaborative effort involved 32 aboriginal female weavers, whom were led by Lin. In order to make the art look more vivid and permanent, a variety of different colored aboriginal traditional woven cloth has been wrapped around the station’s steel beams. There is even cloth that is hanging from the ceiling that looks like the end of a speaker as it welcomes passengers who enter the area. The public art pieces had already been installed in the station’s interior, and a tea party that celebrated the unveiling of the art pieces was held in March (2016). This public art project’s planners and artists were invited to the event and also served as guides.