Exploring the Future from the Past
The place where the crowd gathers is usually the origin of the cultivation of local culture. A place where people gather featuring both a market and faith, and it is easy to observe the developmental trends from the local temples and market cultures of the regions from before. In Taipei, the sole place that is rich in the significance of culture and era is Bangka.
At the end of the Qing dynasty, Bangka was listed as one of the three urban streets of Taipei with Taipei City and Dadaocheng, where Bangka was the earliest developed region amongst these, Bangka gathered together diverse human races to seek their livelihood here. It therefore cultivated and developed into the most primitive looks of the city in Taiwan. It can be said that Bangka is the epitome of the times for the entire Taipei over the past few centuries of business nourishment and cultural conflicts. It’s not only the most significant area in the development of Taipei City, but also the ideal starting point to think about the future of Taipei.
Hidden next to the alleys and in the market by the MRT Longshan Temple Station in Bangka, there is a building built during the Period of Japanese Colonial Rule with the unique structure with a horse hoof shape (U shape). This place used to be a local traditional market selling food ingredients in Bangka – the Xinfu Market. However, traditional markets have already gradually become less popular along with the change of time and people’s lifestyle. Today, with the management from the Jut Foundation for Arts and Architecture, this historic relic has been transformed into the spokesperson for traditional market culture from a market, which is also the ideal starting point from where to explore the rebirth of the ancient city.
Since the opening in 2017 up to the present, the Xinfu Market has been organized on a regular basis with large-scale thematic exhibitions and related promotional events every year, with themes based on the traditional market, people’s everyday life and the rebirth of the area. The currently exhibited ”Déjà vu: Re-Envisioning Market/Place” thematic exhibition further directly set out from the past while looking forward to the future to depict the style and blueprint for the market of the next generation.
Bangka is an ancient area, but it is also due to its age that it features a beauty with the experience through time, and such beauty is irreplaceable by any place. It is the most tranquil yet also the most valuable treasure standing in the city of Taipei. Pay a visit to the Bangka Longshan Temple during one of the holidays, pay a visit and see the content of the exhibitions at the Xinfu Market. Set out from the market culture where the crowds gather in an attempt to explore the cultural content of the traditional market, which the crowds gather as well as the significance of the change of times and the symbiosis with the local region.