According to the Department of Economic Development Commissioner Lin Chung-chieh, U-mkt is located on Sanshui Street in Wanhua District. It is the first historic market in the city, with a history of over 8 decades since its construction. In 2006, the Department of Cultural Affairs officially declared it a municipal historic monument. In 2013, Taipei City Market Administration Office completed the historic monument’s restoration project and Jut Land Development secured a 9-year management right through public tender.
U-mkt was officially opened on March 25, 2017 with the theme of food education, cultural promotion, and regional regeneration. Moreover, activities and educational courses are held from time to time to revitalize the overall space and shape the imagery of U-mkt. After U-mkt underwent the cultural heritage transformation, young people are more willing to come to the market. This in turn generated awareness of the market and vendors around the market, encouraging them to invest more effort to upgrade it into a tourist market, thereby leading to a positive outcome. It is hoped that other old markets can also learn from the market’s experiences and generate more possibilities to ensure a brighter future for traditional markets.
Jut Foundation for Arts and Architecture CEO Li Yen-liang commented that the market marks the beginning of a city as a space embodying the convergence, gathering, and exchange of resources. It is also the soul of a city. In the era of e-commerce, social relation formed by interpersonal interactions, sentimental stories, and physical labor in the market as well as the ability to revitalize space have become rarer, therefore these are the crucial nutrients that nurture the next generation of markets.
For this exhibition, photographer Wang Chia-sheng, paper sculpture artist Cheng Jo-han, community designer Chen Kuan-jung, architect Su Hung, landscape architect Wang Wen-hsin, performing artists Hsieh Chieh-hua and Chang Ke-yang utilized diverse research, investigative, and documentary techniques to depict and capture the feeling of déjà vu. Furthermore, they have incorporated the creation of a venue conducive for dialogues and exhibitions into the landscape design to building space and site that embodies the vision of the next-generation market.