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Sun Tsui-Feng, Store Manager for the Day; The New Gezaixi Social Dance Experience

Longshan Temple metro station, the well-known tourist hub for Longshan Temple and the Huaxi Night Market, has attracted some 120,000 visitors following the Taipei municipal government’s repurposing of an underground passage, creating the Monga Longshan Wenchuang underground area, which opened to the public at the beginning of the year. This new tourist spot has delighted Taiwanese and international visitors alike. In June, new super partner Sun Tsui-Feng Artist Store moved in. On June 18, Sun Tsui-Feng, lead actor at the Ming Hwa Yuan Arts & Culture Group, was “store manager for a day”, bringing with her the new social dance version of the Taiwanese opera Chen San Wu Niang and joining in the fun with the crowd. In the future, Ming Hwa Yuan plans to put on a series of Taiwanese operas and promote lessons at the Longshan underground area.
Like others working in the culture and creative industries, the Ming Hwa Yuan thinks that what is important is to focus on teaching and promoting Taiwanese culture in the hope of passing down the unique performance art of Taiwanese opera, Gezaixi. To make Gezaixi more a part of people’s lives, the Ming Hwa Yuan has become a part of the Manga Longshan Wenchuang underground area, and has created the Sun Tsui-Feng Artist Store with the face of lead actor Sun Tsui-Feng. In addition to exhibiting costumes worn by Sun on stage, the store also offers related audio-visual products. In the future, the Artist Store will create activities accessible to the average theater-goer using elements of operatic performance—flexibility techniques, make-up, costumes, stage gestures, singing styles, and wushu. The store will also run parent & child summer camps where everyone will be able to enjoy the fascination of this traditional art form.
“The Ming Hwa Yuan Arts & Culture Group was formed 88 years ago,” says Sun Tsui-Feng, “and for four generations it has performed only ‘Gezaixi’, traditional Taiwanese opera. The Taipei City government is dedicated to supporting the culture and creative industries, and its thinking is in perfect harmony with the Ming Hwa Yuan’s, which has always strived to carry on and promote traditional Taiwanese artistic culture. The culture and creative industries take time. Perhaps they can’t produce immediate effects, but if everyone works hard together, in time these industries will achieve amazing results.”
It has been almost six months since Monga Longshan Wenchuang underground area was transformed. Plans are afoot to create an art workshop area, a public education area, and a performance area. The first cultural creative groups to take up residence include:
(1) Wuliangi Costume Creations by Ming Hwa Yuan designer Wu Liang-i, an artist with numerous international awards under his belt.
(2) [SEE] Taiwan Creations, which continues the tradition of Taiwanese design elements.
(3) Ah Jin Creations and the Ah Jin School, which use local themes and promote traditional crafts.
(4) The Spring Point Tea Room, which energetically promotes traditional Oolong and other top-quality teas from Taiwan.
(5) The Wedding Jewelry Boutique Shop, where beautiful Taiwanese precious stones are displayed along with wedding culture.
(6) Story of Life, integrating local cultural characteristics like the creation of a new animated role for the “Grass Lane Gongzi”.
(7) Floral Light, bringing planting and flower art into the home and daily life.
(8) Monga Legend Books, which has created a wonderful atmosphere for group studying and reading.
(9) The highly popular online Baker Island has also chosen this address for its first brick-and-mortar store, where frequent musical performances are held.
(10) Taipei Ren Ji Hospital is also planning an exhibit space to promote the concept of LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability).
Recently, four groups that are both innovative and traditional have moved into the underground area. The first is Republic of Coffee, Taiwan’s premium Brand, where you can learn how to roast your own beans, make lattes and concoct custom coffees. Next is the Easy Travel Map Space, set up by JBT Publishing, Inc., a company with more than fifty years’ experience in Wanhua. In addition to displaying both traditional handmade maps and new digital ones, the space enables people to find out about maps and exchange travel memories as they draw their own in the store. The Jade Beauty Maternity Workshop has also opened a storefront on Dali Street in the wholesale clothes market area. In recent years, more attention has been given to the needs of expectant mothers, and the work here has been transformed into a focus on maternity clothes and similar merchandise. Visitors can also make their own baby things, including the very first set of clothes for a newborn. Last but not least, Monga Education Society, taking on a social assistance role, has planned the “Bread of Life Innovation Pavilion”, a venue focusing on care for the elderly and working with youth NPOs.
The cultural and creative groups at Monga Longshan Wenchuang each have their own special character. Many wonderful activities are on offer all summer long. So take a look around and experience the amazing cultural offerings!