These days, every city has transformed some kind of industrial building to be a reclaimed art and cultural space. Taipei has Huashan and Songshan. Kaohsiung breathed new life into an entire pier, revitalizing the once abandoned warehouses into a collection of galleries, studios, venues, shops, restaurants and cafés that draw in locals and visitors alike.
Pier2 Art Center occupies about 1km along the waterfront overlooking Qijin district beyond. The warehouses have been given quirky character with splashes of art coexisting with eclectic buildings and structures and sculptures. The buildings house various art and culture ventures. WOCA, or the Warehouses of Contemporary Art, is a space dedicated to contemporary art exhibitions, performances and local programs for artists in residence.
The nondescript grey buildings have been reimagined to cultivate creativity, a canvas for all forms of storytelling. There’s a warehouse dedicated to animation and comics, a VR theater and several places with family-friendly DIY experiences. There are also co-working spaces and studios, libraries and resource centers, event venues and classrooms. On one end of the pier, there’s the Hamasen Museum of Taiwan Railway, on the other an outpost of Sunny Hills, and the endearing tram that runs right down the middle.
On any given weekend evening, the port is filled with pedestrians and street vendors. In addition to all the art exhibitions and event programming that draws people in, there are trendy cafés, restaurants, bars and shops featuring local artisans. From the pier, you can look out west for picturesque sunset (and appreciate the golden light hitting the buildings on the other side).
Pier2 aims to be a living hub for the future of Taiwanese art, with programs and subsidies catered at supporting young artists. While it is still fairly new to the city, it has already become a popular tourist attraction and public space for locals to hang out. The crowd here is notably diverse, with young artsy locals hanging out alongside intergenerational families. The casual indoor outdoor complex is worth a visit and re-visits, anchoring a new center for culture and happenings in Kaohsiung.
|Hours||10:00 – 18:00 Monday – Thursday, 10:00 – 20:00 Friday – Sunday and holidays|
|Price||free to explore and walk around, with shops, restaurants and venues that generally hover around the $ mark, admission to the exhibitions and galleries are pretty affordable too|
|Aesthetic||industrial, artsy, ever so grungy|
Go here for: a golden hour stroll, a healthy dose of art, an evening hang
Amount of time to spend: an hour or two is perfect, but you could easily spend an entire afternoon exploring
When to come: evenings and weekends are the most lively and have the most happening
Getting here: the highly walkable area is accessible from Sizhiwan or Yanchengpu stations on the orange line. You can also take the tram using the Penglai Pier-2 or Dayi Pier-2 station.
Other things to note:
Last visited: October 2018
Last updated: September 2020