As part of efforts to further develop water recreation activities and enhance the caliber of arts and culture at the Port of Hualien as a way to attract and retain visitors, the Port of Hualien has invited artists to create works of public art in and around the port’s inner-harbor water recreation area. It was hoped that the artists-in-residence approach would increase visitor interest and help boost sales for retailers in the port.
According to port administrators, the inner harbor channel has a central role to play in port diversification plans. Looking to effectively promote the overall development of water leisure and recreation opportunities, the Port of Hualien has invested heavily in improving related facilities. Moreover, in terms of marketing and promotion, the port last year hosted the “Hualien Summertime Beer Festival”, “Food Truck Festival along Hualien’s Romantic Shores”, and National Day fireworks celebration, using fresh seafood, breezy coastal scenery, and romantic ambiance to promote Hualien and the port’s water recreation area. The efforts earned broad-based and enthusiastic support from city residents and outside visitors alike.
Hoping to further accentuate the port’s maritime allure, raise artistic and cultural standards, and, as a result, give visitors a reason to stay longer, the Port of Hualien collaborated with Weinasi Art Gallery and Bookshop to invite artists to create works of public art for installation along the inner harbor water recreation area that would turn the area into a new spotlight destination for natural beauty and culture on the East Coast. To date, eight works have been completed, including “Homesick Anchor”, “Port of Hualien Whale Duet”, “Return”, “Easy Wanderer”, “At Ease”, “Flying Free”, “Love Follows”, and “The Messenger Bird”.
Homesick Anchor’s creator Shang Shan used the ruddy colors of the port in this piece that features a ship’s anchor passing through a heavy steel plate, conveying the panoramic, variegated life of those who take to the sea.
Port of Hualien Whale Duet’s creator Tai-an Ho used discarded underground safety conduit pipes as the medium to create his vision of the whales that regularly frolic just outside harbor waters. Mother and baby whales are shown taking the plunge to more fun below.
Return’s creator Cheng-wei Sung used age-rusted iron pipes to convey the difficult but unavoidable walk of life, stressing “safety” as the only road back home.
Easy Wanderer’s creator Man-chin Lin incorporated images of rock wrens and scops owls, with a prominent crown, muscular wings, and powerful talons, taking flight to destinations far and wide.
At Ease’s creator, also Man-chin Lin, created an amalgam image of a river dolphin and an emperor penguin, its head topped by a red painter’s cap. Its fins protrude like wings and its graceful tailfin stands firm and steady, ready to take the happy creature on a leisurely tour of the seven seas.
Flying Free’s creative team, led by Cheng-duan Yang, brought sheets of plate iron together as a group, but kept them free to move independently with the wind. Flying Free sets dreams and hopes free to reach into the wide-open skies.
Love Follows’ creator, also Tai-an Ho, complements his other work at the port. After making their playful dive, the two whales make their return to the surface in Love Follows – a testament to the resilience of marine life.
The Messenger Bird’s creator Hsiao-yuan Ma set a lucky blue seabird atop an oversized letterbox. The letterbox was capped by a seagull statue for eight years until it, rusted beyond repair, was replaced by Ma’s 111cm-tall blue seabird. This second-generation installation art piece welcomes visitors from near and far to deposit their postcards and letters to loved ones and friends on the warm, friendly shores of Hualien harbor.
The next piece to be installed, titled “Kite” has already been cast and is now in the finishing stages. The Port of Hualien expects this piece to be set in place before the Chinese New Year holiday, which arrives in early February this year.
These works of art, steadily installed between April of last year and February of this year, while adding color and interest to the port are available both for public sale and for corporate sponsorship. For more details on sales and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Felix Cheng at the Port of Hualien, TIPC (tel: 03-8310750).