Skip to main content

3 main constructions of Chiayi Old Prison completed for Taiwan Design Expo 2021

  • PostDate:2021-11-26

November 21, 2021

Cultural Affairs Bureau / Tourism and Information Department


        Chiayi City carried out the “Regeneration of Historic Sites Program” from the Central Government by conducting the 3 construction projects that was all completed in September since the year 2018 with the budget of 72 million dollars. The 3 projects included constructions for the old prison scenery, the renovation of No. 36 and No. 38 on Lane 134 of Weixin Road, and the renovation of the experimental timber workshop. The City Government arranged Chenghuang from Chiayi Chenghuang Temple and Shi-jia-jiang from Shanhaizhen to cleanse the place, and celebrated the completion of the constructions by practicing Kagami Biraki ceremony. The citizens could also go to the Japanese tea set exhibition and activities for families during the celebration.

        According to Ming-hui Huang the mayor, the City Government has been actively collaborating with Ministry of Justice on the renovation of Chiayi Old Prison. Ministry of Justice is in charge of the second phase of the construction inside the wall while the City Government is in charge of the dorm area outside of the wall. Thanks to the supports of Ministry of Culture, people from all walks of life and the residents nearby, there are 8 dorm buildings turning into the experimental timber workshop and 2 into a place for performances. The 3 main venues for Taiwan Design Expo are all fairly essential. The City Government anticipates Ministry of Justice to accelerate the second phase of Chiayi Old Prison construction to make it a new spotlight of the city.

        Huang points out that Chiayi City has over 6,000 wooden houses: therefore, the dorm area will be the base to nourish professionals in the wood industry as the heart of wood culture in Chiayi. In the future, it’ll even turn into a platform for the exchange and promotion of the industry, official and university regarding wood. Apart from the dorm area, many also join programs concerning old house renovation. The wood industry gave rise to the 50-year prosperity of Chiayi City in the past, and everyone in the city shall pass it down.

        Tsung-huang Hsiao the deputy Minister of Ministry of Culture appreciates that Ming-hui Huang the mayor collaborates with Ministry of Justice to conduct the program. Compared to Hinoki Village, the dorm area of the Old Prison is rather serene and has longer history. Chun-tang Huang the director of Agency of Corrections, Ministry of Justice points out that Chiayi Old Prison was founded over a hundred years ago. The 1st phase of the renovation is completed and the documents for the 2nd phase have been submitted to Ministry of Culture. Chiayi Old Prison along with the dorm area will bring prosperity to the place and demonstrate its unique history once the renovation is finished.

        Kiyoshi Furuta, the vice-director of Kaohsiung Office of Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, attended the ceremony in person today. Cultural Affairs Bureau revealed that Furuta visited the Old Prison during the renovation and agreed to visit again once the construction was completed. Therefore, the City Government collaborates with them to organize the Japanese tea set exhibition which starts from today until January 2 the next year. A lecture about tea will also take place in J18 at Chiayi Park on December 25. Huang the mayor is grateful for Japan donating 4.204 million doses of the AZ vaccine to Taiwan during COVID.

        According to Yi-jun Lu the director-general of Cultural Affairs Bureau, the bureau registered the training space in the Old Prison as a historic building during the process of the 3 main construction projects. The bureau will keep striving for more budget to renovate the rest of the dorm area of the Old Prison.

        Store owners and house owners that participated the old house renovation projects earlier this year were awarded during the ceremony. Cultural Affairs Bureau says that the trend of old house preservation has gradually turned into the attitude of Chiayi City citizens towards life. More people hopefully would join to get their old houses renovated in the future.

        Today’s ceremony included activities such as the welcoming tea party, the fair for children, magic performances, DIY and the small contest. There was also a historical review of the Old Prison and an exhibition of wooden artifacts in the outdoor display section. In addition, there will be a fair in the dorm area during Taiwan Design Expo 2021.