Following several years of preparation, Taipei Fine Arts Museum announces the start of its two-phase expansion project titled Out of Bounds: TFAM Expansion. Construction on a new collections vault began in October of this year, and an open call for architectural proposals for another new museum building will be launched in January 2022. The Museum was completed in 1983 and together with the new collection storage area and a second building, it will gradually expand Taiwan's contemporary art vista.
As Taiwan's first modern and contemporary art museum, over the past thirty-eight years the Museum has undergone several improvements and reorganizations to keep abreast of continuous transformations in the local and international art world. However, for many years now, its collection and exhibition spaces have been in urgent need of expansion to accommodate the several decades of growth experienced by Taiwan's rich and energetic art community. The Museum collections hold more than 5,300 important artworks and archives from Taiwan's modern period, as well as representative works by artists from Taiwan and abroad reflecting contemporary topics. However, with less than 8% of the current Museum's space allocated to the collection storage area, the space and its facilities are insufficient for professional conservation, restoration, and research.
Although the museum holds a vast collection of artworks presented in “Taiten” (Taiwan Art Exhibition), “Futen” (Taiwan Viceroy Art Exhibition), and other Taiwanese art assets, lack of space has made permanent exhibitions impossible. On the other hand, the existing exhibition venues cannot accommodate the trend towards international art and cultural development in Taipei. Therefore, with the support of the Taipei City Government, the Museum began planning for expansion in order to facilitate Taiwanese art in comprehensive dimensions, and in recent years has taken decisive steps to accomplish this goal.
Consisting of two basement levels, the new collections vault will be integrated with the current collection storage area. The collections will be stored in separate areas equipped with specific environmental controls to provide suitable and stable safekeeping for each work. By building this new collection storage facility, the Museum will actively promote research and conservation education, as well as advance the protection of Taiwan’s rich artistic and cultural assets. The new structure's ground floor, in addition to providing space for necessary museum operations, will harmonize with the Museum's existing architecture and landscape design while providing different rest areas for the public. Also, the integration of the existing and new collection storage area will extend the area on the east side of the Museum's entrance plaza toward the south, thus leaving some flexibility for the next step of expansion and providing a more convenient visitor experience.
In the second phase of the Museum expansion, a new exhibition building will also be built underground, adjacent to the existing museum. The ground level will include a metropolitan park where art and nature commingle, establishing a new urban landmark for art education and public recreation. Responding to the dynamics of contemporary, the new building will include black boxes and other galleries that are fully equipped and prepared for future technological renewal and will be dedicated to facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration, systematic research, and the creation of new art methodologies. Furthermore, an interactive learning space will be included, aiming to be an incubator of innovative arts as well as a hub of art education for future generations. Once the expansion completes, the main building will be positioned as a strategic center for research on the history of Taiwanese art, with permanent and thematic exhibitions of historically significant Taiwanese art from the collection on view.
From white cubes to black boxes, from modernist architecture to subterranean and invisible buildings, TFAM Expansion not only subverts fixed ideas of building expansion but also makes clear the Museum's pioneering and comprehensive move toward hybrid and unknown art. The Taipei Fine Arts Museum expects to bring in professionals from a wide variety of fields, actively explore different practices, gradually construct new methodologies, and collaboratively expand art into the unknown while becoming an important hub driving the development of Asian art.
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