Taiwan’s National Center for Traditional Arts (國立傳統藝術中心)

The buildings in Taiwan's National Center for Traditional Arts are constructed in traditional Southern Fujien and Baroque architectural styles. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)
The buildings in Taiwan's National Center for Traditional Arts are constructed in traditional Southern Fujien and Baroque architectural styles. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Aiming to promote, preserve, and redefine Taiwan’s traditional arts through both static and dynamic exhibits, the National Center for Traditional Arts (NCFTA國立傳統藝術中心) was established in 2002 in Yilan County in northeastern Taiwan by the Ministry of Culture.

The modern red-brick buildings with traditional rooftop and red lanterns hanging over the narrow street in the National Center for Traditional Arts create an atmosphere that brings visitors back to an earlier time in Taiwan. (Image: Juliet Fu/ Vision Times)

The modern red-brick buildings with traditional rooftop and red lanterns hanging over the narrow street create an atmosphere that takes visitors back to an earlier time in Taiwan. (Image: Juliet Fu  / Vision Times)

Covering an area of 59 acres (24 hectares), the NCFTA is a complex composed of traditional, modern, and outdoor theaters, an exhibition center, a traditional temple, a handicraft artist studio, a music hall, a folk art street, and an accommodation area.

Please watch the following video of the Taiwan’s National Center for Traditional Arts:

The modern red-brick buildings with traditional rooftops and red lanterns hanging over the narrow Folk Art Boulevard were constructed in traditional Southern Fujien and Baroque architectural styles, which creates an atmosphere that takes visitors back to an earlier time in Taiwan.

A shop selling traditional handicrafts on the Folk Art Boulevard in NCFTA (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

A shop selling traditional handicrafts on the Folk Art Boulevard in NCFTA. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

There are scores of shops on the two sides of the Boulevard where one can find and purchase a wide variety of intricate handicrafts and souvenirs with a touch of history, such as decorative gems, silks, rainbow jade vases, local musical instruments, soaps, traditional toys, sweets, clothing, umbrellas, fans, and art brushes. Some of the shops also offer DIY programs on the spot.

A shop selling dough figurines (捏麵人) on the on the Folk Art Boulevard in NCFTA (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

A shop selling dough figurines (捏麵人) on the Folk Art Boulevard in NCFTA. (Image: Billy Shyu /  Vision Times)

A trip to NCFTA would not be complete without watching a live performance. The traditional performances at the outdoor stage in front of Wen-Chang Temple near the riverbank, which are living vignettes of Taiwan’s past, always attract  the attention of visitors, .

A trip to NCFTA would not be complete without watching a live performance at the National Center for Traditional Arts. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

A trip to NCFTA would not be complete without watching a live performance there. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Situated in the center of NCFTA, Guang-Hsiao Shrine (廣孝堂) was built in 1924 as the family shrine of the Cheng Clan in Yilan. It was later moved to the current site as an information center providing information about travel in Yilan. The building retains much of its original architectural style, which was borrowed heavily from Cantonese and Chaozhou buildings.

Situated in the center of NCFTA, Guang-Hsiao Shrine (廣孝堂) was built in 1924 and later moved to the current site as an information center providing information about travel in Yilan. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

Guang-Hsiao Shrine (廣孝堂) was built in 1924 and later moved to the current site as an information center providing information about travel in Yilan. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

The fish-shaped red lantern tunnel looks like a miraculous big golden fish swimming in the water of the pond in the evening. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

The fish-shaped red lantern tunnel looks like a large golden fish swimming in the water of the pond in the evening. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Another striking display is a 64.5-meter-long fish-shaped tunnel composed of 1,500 traditional red lanterns on the bank of the pond. During the daytime, it looks like a giant red fish swinging its tail in the wind. In the evening, the tunnel is like a large golden fish swimming in the water of the pond.

The quadrangle is the residence of the fourth wife of Yilan's first Chu-Jen. (Image: Juliet Fu)

The quadrangle was the residence of the fourth wife of the first Chu-Jen in Yilan. (Image: Juliet Fu / Vision Times)

The main hall of the Huang Chu-jen residence. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

The main hall of the Huang Chu-jen residence. (Image: Juliet Fu / Vision Times)

Built in 1877, the Huang Chu-jen residence (黃舉人宅) was the home of the fourth wife of Huang Tsan-shu (黃纘緒,1817-1893), a native of Yilan, who was the first Chu-jen (a degree one obtained after passing the Imperial Examination at the highest level) in the Yilan area. The quadrangle was originally situated in the downtown area, but was moved to the current location when the city government implemented a redevelopment plan.

The motor boats plying between NCFTA and Dongshan River Park are are solar powered and the height of the roof on the boats are adjustable. (Image: Billy Shyu)

The boats plying between NCFTA and Dongshan River Park are solar powered, and the height of the roofs are adjustable. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Since the National Center for Traditional Arts is situated along the Dongshan River, visitors can take a boat ride from NCFTA to the Dongshan River Water Park (冬山河親水公園). The boats plying between NCFTA and Dongshan River Park are unique. Not only are they solar powered, but the height of the roofs on the boats are also adjustable to clear the bridge at the Dongshan River Water Park.

The Dongshan River Water Park in Yilan City (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

The Dongshan River Water Park in Yilan City. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

The motors run quiet and don’t cause pollution. It’s a great experience to enjoy the beautiful scenery on board while cruising down the Dongshan River.

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