Mayor Chen Chu's Visit to the U.S.／陳菊市長率團訪美
Mayor Chen Chu's Visit to the U.S.
◎English translation: Peng Hsin-yi
◎Photos by Lu Yi-lu
On June 4, 2012 Kaohsiung City Mayor Ms. Chen Chu and her delegation arrived in the United States. During her stay, Mayor Chen toured San Francisco and visited several prominent companies in the cultural and creative industries, among them Autodesk, a world leader in 3D design software. The mayor also stopped by HUB SoMa, a shared workspace utilized by many companies in creative industries. She then went to Portland, Oregon –one of Kaohsiung's sister cities –to attend the Grand Floral Parade, part of the annual Rose Festival, as well as Portland's Dragon Boat Festival activities.
With Kaohsiung's budding digital industry in mind, Mayor Chen expressed a keen interest in visiting Autodesk, one of the most respected names in digital imagery technologies. Autodesk has had a hand in every movie in the past 15 years that has won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. Highlights of its work include Iron Man, the Batman series, Kung Fu Panda, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The mayor also spent toured HUB SoMa in San Francisco. HUB SoMa is a resource-sharing center for creative workers which offers space to many companies; it is a far-reaching global network that enables the sharing and exchange of information and resources. Mayor Chen would like to see Kaohsiung taking a more active role on this global platform, keeping open communication channels with various cities, getting input from creative minds around the world, bringing Kaohsiung up to speed with its international counterparts, and perhaps establishing a similar platform for digital creative work in Taiwan that would turn Kaohsiung into a hub for creative talents throughout Asia.
Kaohsiung has been making great efforts to revamp its economy in recent years, and establishing a presence in the digital creative industry is one of its major focuses. Kaohsiung City Government has established the Pier-2 Art Center as a designated space for creative industries. Sony Computer Entertainment Taiwan Ltd. (SECT) has already opened its headquarters in Pier-2 Art Center. Four other companies signed on in May 2012, and one of the world's most productive visual-effects companies, Rhythm & Hues, moved into Pier-2 Art Center in June 2012. Thanks to its proximity to the New Bay Area and Kaohsiung Software Technology Park, Pier-2 Art Center has the potential to become a major digital art and creative industry cluster.
The second stage of the mayor's visit took her to Portland, which became a sister city of Kaohsiung in 1988. Many cultural exchanges have taken place since then. Back in 1988, Kaohsiung presented two dragon boats to Portland as a gift, and Portland returned the goodwill by holding its first Dragon Boat Race the following year. It has been an annual celebration ever since; and beginning in 2004, Portland has been sending a team each year to participate in the Kaohsiung Lantern Festival. The close ties between the two cities favor the holding of various events and activities.
To demonstrate their support for a longstanding sister city, Mayor Chen and Deputy Speaker of Kaohsiung City Council Mr. Tsai Chang-ta, as well as members of the city council, visited Portland Mayor Sam Adams. Together with Mayor Adams, they attended the Rose Festival's Grand Floral Parade. The Rose Festival attracts nearly 100,000 people every year, and this year Kaohsiung's Shu-te Home Economics & Commercial High School sent its marching band and color guard to participate in the parade. The girls received thunderous applause and cheers from spectators lining the marching route.
高雄市長陳菊6月4日率團參訪美國舊金山和波特蘭，此行觀摩美國文創產業，分別拜訪Autodesk 公司和HUB SoMa等公司，並參加姐妹市波特蘭市一年一度的玫瑰節花車遊行與龍舟賽。
為發展數位內容產業，市府訪問團5日走訪全球3D設計軟體領導者Autodesk公司，觀摩數位平台科技發展動向與最新技術，Autodesk公司囊括過去十五年奧斯卡最佳視覺特效獎的全部獲獎影片，包括鋼鐵人、蝙蝠俠、功夫熊貓、班傑明的奇幻旅程等知名電影。此外，訪問團亦特別拜訪舊金山HUB SoMa ，HUB SoMa為全球性HUB 組織之一，該組織結盟全世界各地的數位創作重鎮上下游，彼此資源與訊息共享。陳菊市長表示，高雄市希望透過加入全球性HUB 組織，與各城市間能保持暢通的交流管道，汲取各方經驗。讓高雄在數位創作的動向與全球同步，藉此建立全台首座數位創意平台，為高雄延攬並培育更多的創作人才，並進一步放眼國際，成為亞洲數位內容中心。