Stories and Talks behind the Opening Ceremony of Wind God Temple

On 14th September, Coretronic Culture and Arts Foundation (CCAF) held an opening musical ceremony for local residents living around Wind God Temple; one day before it, there was an official lighting-up ceremony. BeLight had many interesting and fascinating talks about the background stories of this project.

International Lighting Designer, Chou Lien. Photo Credit: Chou Lien, CCAF
International Lighting Designer, Chou Lien.
Photo Credit: Chou Lien, CCAF

At the beginning of the lightin-up ceremony, the Mayor of Tainan City, Dr. William Lai, burned incense and prayed to Wind God accompanied with the curator Chou Lien. This ritual was to express people’s appreciation for Wind God as he had the project done successfully. Then it was a short acting performance explaining the history of the temple and the Reception Archway. “We CCAF has been dedicating to improve people’s awareness of lighting condition and hoped to find somewhere to show the importance of lighting through a lighting transformation,” said Yao Cheng Chung, the principal of CCAF. ”It is a fortune that we founded such a wonderful place which contains rich culture and perfect space as an example.” Actually, there are some attractive stories behind this transformation project.

Miss Yue-ching Wu is a staff in Wind God Temple, she told BeLight that the staffs did have a lighting transformation idea but they were not wealthy enough to do this. “One night, people from CCAF came here and tried to explain their very initial project to us. We put their name cards in front of Wind God’s statues and expressed this project to him,” said Miss Wu. “We told him: ‘if you wished this to be done, please bridge everything necessary.’” Being blessed by Wind God, it was finally completed.

The Lighting-up ceremony on 13th September.
Photo Credit: CCAF

When being under lighting construction, the lighting designer, who is also the constructor, Wilson Lee from Art Light Design founded that this was not an easy job. There was neither architectural structure drawing nor blueprint so they had to start from detecting the architectural structure of this small temple – while this temple is a national historical site, they weren’t allowed to cause any damage. “We started from drawing new blueprints for it,” said Lee. “I think this is an impressive project because we have to build it almost from zero while working under lots of limitations. We even lift all floor tiles to hide wires.” However, the pavilion is not done by the original design. “Chou and Lee planned to install a lamp on the two beams in the pavilion,” explained Ms. Wu. “But we denied it since there would be a Feng-Shui problem if they did. Besides, they are the most important part supporting the structure so we prefered not installing anything on it.”

The Front door and the Pavilion of Wind God Temple. Photo Credit: CCAF
The Front door and the Pavilion of Wind God Temple.
Photo Credit: CCAF

As Yao said, Wind God Temple contains deeply cultural richness so it is not easy to integrate modern material – that is, light – with the building itself. Nonetheless, they achieved this. The Mayor of Tainan City expressed his appreciation and anticipation to this project: “I hope, this project can not only illuminate Wind God Temple but can also illuminate the whole district and broaden it to everywhere in Tainan City.” Being the oldest city in Taiwan, adequate lighting design can definitely cohere light and the surroundings and reveal the rich history here.

“At first, we illustrated our lighting plan depending on the warm human touch in Tainan,” said Chou Lien on the lighting-up ceremony. “We started from this point and extended it into lines and surfaces. We hope we can light up historical sites as well as the life style in Tainan.” Chou noted that he had been invited to do some lighting projects in Tainan before this one and had founded something deep in this city. There are also many artists and writers living here so you can discover residents’ distinctive virtues. “We tried to have people see a unique culture through light,” Chou emphasized. He also gave his hope to this project: “I also wish that Tainan can do more about this project. I hope we can have a method or a platform to stick to this kind of lighting transforming.”

Chou Lien talks about his experience on this project. Photo Credit: CCAF
Chou Lien talks about his experience on this project.
Photo Credit: CCAF

On the opening musical ceremony on 14th September, more than 100 residents came to Wind God Temple with their families. They listened to stories about the temple, heard Taiwanese and jazz music and sang songs. The Director of CCAF, Fanny Hsu told BeLight that they hope to combine local residents and this area together and make the courtyard a living room for local people to chat, have cups of tea together at night. Lasting for around 300 years, Wind God Temple is now again a remarkable place for Taiwanese people under the new, gentle lighting.

Mayor of Tainan City, Dr. William Lai (Left) confers a memorial tablet to Yao Cheng Chung who represents CCAF. On the tablet: "Lighting Master"
Photo Credit: CCAF

Related Posts:
Coretronic Culture and Arts Foundation and Tainan City Government Unveil Taiwan's First "Temple of Light"
Light It Up by Taking Light Off – Wind God Temple, "The Temple of Light"

Short glance: On 22th September, many of TNT members had a special tour to visit Wind God Temple after they finished the TNT Night Watching Tour and PechaKucha Night.

TNT members visit Wind God Temple. Photo Credit: CCAF
TNT members visit Wind God Temple.
Photo Credit: CCAF
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