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About C-LAB

Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB) was initiated in 2018 by the Taiwan Living Arts Foundation of the Ministry of Culture, to the aim of becoming the leading site of contemporary culture in Taiwan, with “innovation” as its core belief and directive. It is a vision for future experimentation and a nexus for international exchange, an imagining of a culture rooted in Asian and Taiwanese everyday experiences. Domestically, it serves as a physical incubation center for creative endeavors. The hope is to catalyze the interplay between all forms of creativity while developing an open and inclusive cultural landscape or social environment.

C-LAB is located at the site of the former Air Force Command Headquarters, which occupied the site of the Taiwan provincial government's Central Research Institute at Da'an, which in turn took over from the original Japanese-era Industrial Research Institute of the Taiwan Governor-General’s Office. The site became the Ministry of National Defense's (MND’s) Air Force Command Headquarters in 1949, among other subsequent identities. C-LAB is working in the public construction planning phase to carry out inventory of campus properties and revitalize usable space, opening up the site to cultural professionals and technical support teams who together participate in cross-disciplinary or interdisciplinary collaboration and co-creation. Through programs such as artistic cultural innovation experimentation, exhibitions, performances, screening events, cross-domain co-creation, international cultural exchange, educational promotion, and community service, as well as the establishment of innovative experimentation, new art and culture co-habitats, urban aesthetic parks, and other multi-purpose facilities, we are building on a vision for continued socio-cultural experimentation and practice.

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Heritage Buildings

The lone heritage building in the park is the Old Office Building located at the center of the campus. The east and west elevations feature a zigzag design to avoid direct solar gain. It was designated a heritage building in 2014.

Historic Buildings

Nine buildings—two bomb shelters, two sentry stations, two bunkers, a gate post, gate-keeping personnel quarters, and the duty officer's station—were designated historic buildings in 2014, due to their prominence and historic significance.

Major Events

1939

“Industrial Research Institute of the Taiwan Governor-General’s Office” During Japanese Occupation

33,000 pings (equiv. to 109091 square meters) of land was acquired during the Japanese occupation at the Da’an 12 jia” (literally, an administrative zone of 12 hectares at Da’an) Administration Zone, for the establishment of the Industrial Research Institute. The Taiwan Governor-General’s Office prioritized the relocation of existing lab equipment, so procurement of the land and the building of Number 2 Hall (now C-LAB Old Office Building) became key projects in its Phase 1 Plan. The Building Construction Section of the Taiwan Governor-General’s Office was commissioned to build Number 2 Hall, with aspirations of building the largest scientific facility on the island and have it completed by 1944.

Front elevation and main entrance of Number 2 Hall in the early days of Taiwan’s retrocession. Photo: LIFE Magazine

1948

Ministry of National Defense (MND) Occupancy Following Relocation of the Nationalist Government

From 1948 to 1949, the Government of the R.O.C. and personnel relocated to Taiwan, and with its priority towards national defense reassigned Industrial Research Institute premises as MND Ren-ai Base and later as Air Force Command Headquarters.

1949

Air Force Command Headquarters, Ministry of National Defense (MND)

Air Force Command Headquarters was formally set up on this site in 1949 by the Ministry of National Defense, serving as the top commanding organization of air defense and combat in Taiwan. Research data from 1951 show that the organizational units of Air Force Command Headquarters included General Headquarters, Consul’s Office, Political Office, Supervisory Office, Statistics Office, Liaison Office, the First to Fifth Ministries, as well as 9 Corps of Deputy, Air Defense, Communications, Meteorology, Finance, Medical, Construction, Military Justice, and General Services and a further 2 units of combat operational command and handbook, legal, technique, and decree repository committee. Restructuring of the organizational hierarchy in later times resulted in a markedly different structure of the R.O.C. Air Force today.

Air Force Command Headquarters, MND in 1966. Photo: Air Force Command Headquarters, MND.

2012

Taiwan Air Force (TAF) Innovation Base

On October 5, 2012, Air Force Command Headquarters, MND relocated to Zhong Yong Military Base in the Dazhi area of Zhongshan District, Taipei City. The Executive Yuan proceeds to revitalize the newly vacated site, now named “Taiwan Air Force Innovation Base”, by inviting organizations and groups across a variety of disciplines to participate in programs of youth entrepreneurship and social innovation.

2017

Culture Lab Preparatory Group

In 2017, the Ministry of Culture tasked the “Cultural Lab at TAF” preparatory group with transforming 7.15 hectares (71500 square meters) of land and historical buildings into a platform for future development of contemporary culture in Taiwan. Its mission is to establish the ecological and support systems necessary in an evolution of the site from a program of strategic military importance to that of culture. Factors taken into consideration include the site’s historical context, spatial fabric, and recovered textual records to “establish innovative cultural experiments and overall strategy”, “provide a framework to support the cultural ecosystem”, “map out the organizational blueprint for Cultural Lab at TAF”, and “convene a hundred professional consultations”.

2018

Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB)

The Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab was officially launched in 2018 to form an ecosystem of large-scale cultural experiments spearheaded by the Ministry of Culture, as well as to cooperate with Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Economic Affairs in the areas of art, technology, and social science to build three experimental platforms of “Contemporary Art”, “Technology Media” and “Social Innovation”, connecting professional cultural groups with technological support teams to build a forward-looking and internationally innovative collaborative platform which brings together contemporary cultural experiments across Asia and the globe.

2019

Taiwan Sound Lab and IP Lab Studio

Working with the Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics / Music (IRCAM) of the Pompidu Center in France, the Taiwan Sound Lab is established at C-LAB, with art, science, and technology embedded at its core to promote technology transfers, musical composition, technical training, mutual site visits, research curriculum, co-production, and co-presentation.

With the aim to bolster Taiwan’s indigenous cultural output while aligning with international high-tech industry-wide developments, the Ministry of Culture with the support of the central government’s Forward-Looking Infrastructure Plan has created an “IP LAB STUDIO” in the renovated former badminton stadium. The result of many years of research and development by the French INRIA Rhône-Alpes Research Centre, the “4DViews” system provides a powerful and precise dynamic volumetric motion capturing system, the sixth such facility built in the world and the second most advanced of its type in Asia. Its purpose is to support the development of original IP (intellectual property) content in combination with various forms of technical productions and creative applications.

2020

Removal of the Perimeter Wall and Redevelopment into a Cultural Aesthetics Park

The demolition of the old wall and completion of the landscaping project dissolves the mystical veil of the military base, transforming it into a barrier-free cultural aesthetics park. In addition to C-LAB’s commitment to defining a new category of arts and culture forum that is open to both creators and communities, it also seeks to engage public participation and social connection by encouraging people to enter at will, and participate in an inclusive atmosphere of culture and innovation.