Sin Pin Pier Archive 新浜碼頭藝術空間檔案
Sin Pin Pier Art Space has been a pivotal establishment since its inception in Kaohsiung in 1997. It serves not only as a contemporary art space fostering interaction among local artists from diverse generations but also, through a plethora of meticulous curatorial projects, has broadened the scope of artistic practice from mere aesthetics to encompass local cultural and historical memory as well as urban development. In doing so, it has contributed to shaping a distinctive and impactful image for contemporary art in Kaohsiung.
Originally conceived as a cooperative gallery, Sin Pin Pier boasts founding members who are closely affiliated with the Modern Art Association of Kaohsiung. Following the receipt of government subsidies in 2001, the space repositioned itself as a 'public property', thereby adapting its operational strategies. In 2008, it welcomed a restructure of the organization before it started preparing for the founding of the 'Sin Pin Pier Art Association' and formally parting ways with the Modern Art Association of Kaohsiung. The first phase of the Sin Pin Pier Archive therefore encompasses pertinent exhibition files from its formative years (1997-2007), comprising a total of 452 records covering exhibition invitations, promotional materials, press releases, and exhibition photos, offering a glimpse into Sin Pin Pier's developmental trajectory during its initial decade and its interplay with the artistic and cultural landscape of Kaohsiung.
After the closure of Yiam-Tian Up, an affiliated space of the Up Art Gallery, in 1995, artist Chen Rong-Fa, a founding member of the Up Gallery, took over the location at 2nd floor, No. 64 Dayong Road, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, and transformed it into his personal studio. Chen, also a core member of the Modern Art Association of Kaohsiung (MAAK), later passed on his studio lease to fellow MAAK artist friends when he decided to immigrate to Canada in 1997. This transition led to the establishment of Sin Pin Pier.
To share the operational costs, the initial members of Sin Pin Pier recruited additional artists from outside the MAAK to participate. Over a preparatory period of about one month (from July to August 1997), a total of 33 founding members were recruited, shaping Sin Pin Pier Art Space primarily as an artist-operated space, with the main members coming from the MAAK. The art space developed a close cooperative relationship with the MAAK, not only sharing its space for MAAK exhibitions but also serving as the association's address. Government subsidy to the space was also applied through the MAAK until 2007.
In July 2008, Sin Pin Pier Art Space reorganized its operational structure and began preparing for the establishment of the ‘Sin Pin Pier Art Association’ by the end of the same year, formally separating from the Modern Art Association of Kaohsiung. In 2009, with 33 founding members, the Sin Pin Pier Art Association was formally established and has continued to operate the space to this day.
Originally established as a cooperative gallery, the name "Sin Pin Pier" was suggested by the artist Lee Jiun-Shyan (李俊賢) to reflect its vision of being more than just a gallery space. Instead, it aimed to be a vibrant hub for artists to gather, interact, and exchange ideas, much like a bustling pier. The key figure overseeing the operations of this art space was referred to as the "foreman" (工頭). During its initial phase from 1997 to 1999, followed by the period from 1999 to 2001, the foremen were integral members of the MAAK. In 2001, with the support of government subsidies, Sin Pin Pier underwent a significant transformation. It welcomed Cheng Ming-Chuan (鄭明全) as its first non-MAAK foreman, marking a new chapter for the organization. Cheng Ming-Chuan also became the first "art director" with a professional background in art management, further elevating the institution's profile and capabilities.
The government's financial support prompted Cheng to operate the Sin Pin Pier as a ‘public property’, emphasizing the space itself as an active urban node, rather than solely a venue for members' solo or group shows. This marked a significant shift in the nature of the original cooperative gallery and opened up the room for the engagement with the city and other art communities in the following years. This included open calls for exhibitions for young artists in 2002, the exhibition "Takao Labor-industrial Kaohsiung" in 2003, participation in art expos in 2004 and 2005, and collective involvement in Co6 Taiwan Avant-Garde Documenta III in 2006.
Description of Series
The first phase of the Sin Pin Pier Archive encompasses a collection of documents pertaining to exhibitions, comprising both physical and digital materials. The physical files encompass promotional materials for exhibitions that have been preserved by Sin Pin Pier, while the digital files comprise scanned and native digital documents generated by Sin Pin Pier. The source of materials in this archive comes from the culmination of the Sin Pin Pier Art Association's 'Sin Pin Pier 25th Anniversary Archive Research Three-Year Project', which was launched in 2020, and the physical materials were digitized by AAA in 2022.
In an effort to honor Sin Pin Pier's longstanding tradition of organizing annual exhibitions and events based on a monthly schedule, as well as its practice of frequently promoting multiple exhibitions using the same materials, the Sin Pin Pier Archive (Phase 1) organizes the 'Exhibition Files' by year and scheduled period. These files encompass exhibition proposals, invitations, promotional materials, exhibition statements, press releases, exhibition photos, and related clippings preserved by Sin Pin Pier from 1997 to 2007. The 'Participating Exhibitions' section contains documents related to Sin Pin Pier's involvement in exhibitions organized by other entities from 2003 to 2007.
Open for research. Onsite-only and restricted materials—including but not limited to correspondence, newspaper clippings, and unpublished writings—are available for consultation at AAA in Hong Kong, New Delhi, and New York. Please make an appointment at email@example.com at least one week in advance.
Subject to all copyright laws. Permission to publish materials must be obtained from copyright owners. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further enquiries.
History and Project Team
The digital and physical materials in this archive are provided by Sin Pin Pier Art Space. The collection of this archive began in August 2022, and the digitization of the first phase was completed in December 2023, with the launch taking place in January 2024.
The project team includes Project Researcher Nicole Wang (汪怡君), along with Project Research Assistants Kyo Hsieh (謝以恭) and Tammy Ho (何沐恬). Su Chang-Ching (蘇長慶) also contributed in the digitisation and interview process as an intern.
The Sin Pin Pier Art Space Archive is part of the 'Independent Art Space of Taiwan' project, supported by the Kwang Hwa Information and Culture Center.