Located in Gushan District in northwestern Kaohsiung, the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts is the third leading museum of public arts in Taiwan, next to the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts and Taipei Fine Arts Museum. The 18-acre wide Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts was founded in 1994 by the Kaohsiung City Government and has been managed by the Kaohsiung Bureau of Cultural Affairs since 2003. It is situated within the 40-hectare wide Neiweipi Cultural Park, which began construction in 1989 and completed in 1994 when the museum opened.
The country owes much to the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts for its efforts in promoting the unique Taiwanese form of art. The museum continues to promote international exchange and conduct learning activities in arts history, the humanities, and art education. In other words, it is the artistic and cultural center of southern Taiwan. Below are what await you as you visit the museum.
The attractions begin outside the museum. Around the museum’s perimeter are a plaza, numerous rest areas, park walkways, and restrooms, if you wish to linger within a natural environment before entering the complex. Several cultural and educational activities are regularly held on this semi-circular plaza, which is directly connected to the museum’s auditorium and studio classrooms inside. Behind the plaza are the Sculpture and Ecology Parks. Within these parks are lawns, groves, footpaths, a marsh, lake, forest, observation platform and even a small island. These outdoor attractions would easily wow you even before you decide to step into the museum.
As you finally enter, you are welcomed by the huge Sculpture Hall that leads to all other exhibition rooms. The sculptures come to life as sunlight bathes them from the hall’s large skylight. To the right of the hall are Galleries 101, 102, and 103, which regularly showcase general and special international exhibitions. On the other side are Galleries 104 and 105, which also display compelling sculptures. There are more galleries on the second floor, which are reserved to exhibit larger display items. The third floor displays sensitive and precious exhibits such as ancient calligraphy, which require special room conditions and climate control. Finally on the fourth floor are mobile galleries that may be divided into different sizes and moved to follow different layouts.
The museum also has an Art Library that contains 3,000 art videotapes and about 20,000 books. All of these may be accessed by the public for research and information. There are photocopiers available and museum guests may copy some pages upon permission from the administrative personnel. The museum also offers recorded tours (via rented tapes, players, and earphones), scheduled tours (Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2:00 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 a.m.), computer-based tours, tours by appointment (available in English, Japanese, Mandarin and Taiwanese) and on-the-air tours (via the “You and the Arts” radio program on Kaohsiung Broadcasting on Saturdays morning at 11:00 a.m.).
To get to the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, simply take Bus 205, 73 or 57. The museum is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day except Mondays and national holidays.