National Hsinchu Living Art Center Director Chuang San-hsiu:To Promote Culture, First Promote Industry 國立新竹生活美學館館長莊三修:推文創,先求「產業化」

As local pioneers of culture and art, what sort of important responsibilities do the living art centers in each locality have? How can related policies be implemented? Ideas magazine interviewed Chuang San-hsiu, director of the National Hsinchu Living Art Center, who shared with readers his ideas of how to promote living art concepts as well as how to manage the cultural and creative industries.

Using “Yangmei cloth dyeing” “Matsu honeysuckle” as examples, Chuang San-hsiu said that the “Yangmei cloth dyeing” that has been promoted in recent years in the Yangmei region of Taoyuan features silk scarves dyed with a vegetable dye made from the yangmei tree, a specialty of Yangmei Township. On this basis, the locals developed their cultural industry, and then utilized resources from local universities to hold relevant workshops to cultivate new talent and dyeing techniques so that they could start mass-producing those silk scarves. They also incorporated cultural and historical scenic spots as well as guided trails to promote the Yangmei cloth dyeing products, and then gradually adopted the co-op model to build a cooperative management system. The above methods, in conjunction with the government’s diversified employment plan, gradually formed a “local center culture and lifestyle circle” that is supported by this particular industry.

Chuang stressed that in order to develop an industry based on creative lifestyles, you must make whatever you’re selling either the best there is or one of a kind, emphasizing that you must “have what others don’t have, and be better than others at what others can also do.” For instance, although Matsu boasts historic battlefields, it should not overplay the “battlefield” theme because compared to Kinmen, Matsu lags far behind in terms of tourism resources in that area.