Togo Rural Village Art Museum, giving you a surprising impression at the heart of Chianan Plain/土溝農村美術館-在嘉南平原中心點的驚喜印象

If you take Provincial Highway 1 South, you'll notice scenic green fields along the road after entering Tainan from Chai-yi.

Perhaps, you are unaware of some surprising places around the corner. Togo community is worth your short stop.

This is the first village art museum in Taiwan. It's the collaborative effort among students, artists and village people to showcase the works of young artists and create job opportunities for young folks.

Not long after you pass Bazhang River, there is a FamilyMart by the Xian-ji Temple archway. Make a left through the archway to enter Municipal Road 91 South.

Shortly after you leave the noisy highway, you'll arrive in a serene farm village. You may be wondering why we bring you this typical farmhouse landscape along the street.
離開車聲呼嘯的公路不久,就進入悠閒安靜的農村。你會懷疑,我們介紹這個地方的沿路上,只有很平常的農村景觀。 a6e4577dd3106548112411ad68771224


According to ancient books, the area surrounding the Togo Community on this rural street was the military HQ of Chai-yi and north Tainan during the Tungning Kingdom and early Qing Dynasty in the 17th century.

Once you see the sketched map done by the Togo Rural Culture Community Development Organization, who used the aerial photos and old maps originated from the Japanese colonial era as references, it'll make more sense.
當你看見土溝農村文化營造協會,以日治時期古地圖和航照圖做參考,改繪而成的地圖,會更清楚。 d80eef7ef69fe58bf8c483c94917a13f

Using buffalo as its symbol, Togo Village is at the heart of Chai-nan Plain.

From a perspective on Taiwan Strait, this place used to be the terminal for upstream transportation from the seaside. Although there is no more essence of a city in Togo, the artists utilized this preserved ancient landscape to create contemporary art.
而從台灣海峽的視角來看,從海邊溯溪而上,這裡當年是河運終點。雖然現在土溝沒有大城的感覺,保留下來的古早景觀,被藝術家巧妙運用,成為很有創意的當代藝術。 3330abcd0a3bf93c0ecd07db1b7431e8

From Municipal Road 91 South, turn right onto Municipal Road 90 South and you'll arrive in Togo. This over-two-kilometer segment of the road feels like an art boulevard.
從南91市道遇到南90市道右轉,就進入土溝,兩公里多的路段,就像藝術大道。 3e80d7cc6ddffa04cd293ded993d8ce9


The wall paintings in these farmhouses create a very laid back atmosphere. You can sometimes see tourists riding bicycles and passing by.
你有時會看到有些遊客騎自行車經過,農家牆壁上的彩繪,非常悠閒的氣氛。 2737393991204a2377d07b79b857a7b4

This particular art museum is very different from our ideas of an art museum. Their ideology is that the village and museum are one, the houses are the exhibits, the paddy field is the canvas, the farmers are the artists and the agricultural products are the art pieces.
這個美術館和你我對「美術館」的理解截然不同。原來他們的想法是,「村是美術館,美術館是村,房舍為展場,稻田為畫布,農民是藝術家,農產品是藝術品」。 0e30f362ef022242ea2934be15d5a822



We sincerely hope that tourists don't treat this place like a scenic area or tourist attraction. Look at this rural village from a different perspective. Take a stroll around this place and use your senses to turn a remote area into the focus of your attention.
誠懇希望遊客不要把這裡當成風景區和觀光區,到處慢慢走,用感官來把偏遠區變成中心,換個角度去看故鄉。 ed7e858ed2f6fdef178718f235a8a9a2

This little place of happiness is the result of New Homeland Movement promoted by a group of graceful farmers without much financial support from the government or corporations.
一群優雅農夫沒有大型政府資金和企業財政支助,推動了「新故鄉運動」打造出幸福小站。 656b7abb8b93e306af436d5c7f61837f

Located in the middle of this art street, Togo Rural Culture Community Development Organization was the supporting force behind the farmers. There is a farming machine painted in yellow on the turf by the front entrance.
土溝農村文化營造協會位在這條藝術路段中間的協會,就是這些農夫背後的支持力量,門前草皮擺了漆成黃色的農耕機。 28325dee3e89d76f27c7d273c0875db0

The community movement all started with sculpting the buffalo stone in the Buffalo Park across from the organization office 12 years ago.
12年前開始的社區運動,就從協會辦公室對面,雕塑水牛公園的水牛石雕開始。 df58062ad0b68c2d359e2c4eaae31ae9

The buffalo stone sized like a real buffalo is the symbol of farm villages in Taiwan, embodying the spirit of farmers' perseverance.
和真牛一樣尺寸的石牛是台灣農村的象徵,也具體的代表了吃苦耐勞的農民精神。 69abaa1cd7cbd1e00cf8b344c243f2c4

This also echoes with the creations of these artists. The "Love farm village, support farmers" slogan sign made of various materials can be readily seen everywhere.

You'll occasionally smell a strong scent of pigswill. Organization Director Huang Ding-yao indicated that pig farming has been a distinguishing characteristic of the farm village since the past. You'll get used to the smell in about 5 minutes:)

When the fall season comes around, you can come to Togo for the art festival. Take 2015 as an example, the exhibition commenced in October and lasted all the way till February in 2016.

You can eat ice cream, pizzas and even try the very distinctive "Rice-Reaping Rice" while checking out art exhibits.

There was recently an exhibition hosted by Togo Rural Culture Community Development Organization, inviting five local and six visiting teams.

Using artistic creations, they along with local people and youth groups spent three months organizing the initial idling spaces into a total of 22 exhibit areas.

Take the Graceful Farmer Art and Culture Factory as an example, there is a word "postal" written in Chinese on the cabin by the entrance, letting you know this is the reception area where you can get a commemorative stamp on your tour card.
以優雅農夫藝文工廠為例,門前有一個小小的木屋,上面寫了個中文的郵字,告訴你可以在這邊是接待的地方,可以在你的導覽卡片上蓋紀念戳記。 2fe9f54a17f4b9eb37ef6a02f71d51c2

Enter the exhibition, and there's a large painted word "farm" in Chinese on the iron gate with painted surrounds.
走進展場,鐵門畫上一個大大的中文農字,旁邊有彩繪。 410889c602176327b36d15afe0095d25 d1c11712a6c3ad1193d995ff94c60045

Upon opening the gate, you can see the strip of cloth with written "Love farm village, support farmers." There will be more surprises when you enter the room.
門口一開,可以看到「愛農村,挺農民」的布條。進入室內,會有更多驚喜。 d3b8c892c348a80764c4535cbac49836 ==the slogan in red says "Love farm village, support farmers."/紅字口號寫著「愛農村,挺農民」。==

The exhibit space was initially a firecracker factory. It was abandoned after an accident. Eventually, an artist rented and remodeled the place. There are exhibit, restaurant and music festival spaces serving multiple functions.

The place where the large wood carving "Attack on Giant Farmer" is displayed was the site of a factory explosion. It was reorganized into a great site for exhibits.
「進擊的巨農」大型木雕展覽地點,是當年發生爆炸廠房,重新整理後變成最好陳列地點。 dac02f0c3ec9936168b1b663f3eabcd7


The wood carving constructed from recycled wood symbolizes a titan standing by the farmers. This is the ideology behind the art festival theme.
木雕用回收廢木材釘成,象徵著一位巨人當老農後盾,這思想正是藝術季的主題。 fcf5cb40e3ff3b0d22ead5a7644c3035

The old factory space was remodeled. Aside from "Attack on Giant Farmer," there are a scooter, giant wooden chairs, etc. The wooden chairs look perfectly suited for the giant farmer!
原本的廠房區域重新布置,除了「進擊的巨農」,還有一台速克達機車和巨型的木椅等,木椅好像剛好適合給巨農用的! b815d3315b41793efa47dab53f7c2af4

There is a stone monkey on the chair. Stone carving is the most famous characteristic of artworks from the neighboring city Chai-yi. Residing at Togo, the artist from Chai-yi brought the gift from his hometown!
椅子上有一隻石雕的猴子,石雕是隔壁嘉義最有名的藝術特色。落腳在土溝的嘉義藝術家,帶來了家鄉的獻禮! 2f3ecce12b462d3efd4fa307cf9b568a

You can also see a tea ceremony built from straw bales. There are a tea table and tea set inside. Why not get some tea by the giant farmer and enjoy the surrounding rural beauty!
你還可以看到稻草屋搭建的茶席,裡面放了一套茶桌和茶具,在巨農的身邊泡茶,享受周圍田園之美! 6e477f08031c3db956c9ad38533fcce9

There is a pair of mascots built from straw bales and shaped like onigiri on the other side. Their features resemble a pair of birds laying eggs comfortably, perhaps implying that you should enjoy the relaxing farmhouse landscape and the most authentic and safe rice food when you come to Togo!
而在另一邊,有一對吉祥物,用稻草做成三角飯糰,輪廓酷似舒適生蛋的一對鳥兒,暗式如果你來土溝,享受令人放輕鬆農村風景,和最道地最安全的米食! 363f23ffce21bd7034e66ff10dc06de8

Once you are done with the courtyard, further ahead is a large factory building. There is a large buffalo painted on the wall. This is a restaurant.
參觀過庭院,再走進去還有一個大廠房的空間,牆壁彩繪一頭大大的水牛,現在是餐廳。 1536e6f91f8de1be6280c20f1bb34f95

During non-festive seasons, they take booked group visits. Visitors can enjoy a rural-style picnic here. We happened to see staff cleaning the space and bending down to prepare the stew using firewood in order to ready the rural-style delicacies for visitors.
非藝術季期間,他們接受團體預約參觀,可以在這裡享受田園野宴風味餐。我們剛好看到工作人員,打掃餐廳,彎下腰用柴火燉湯,為貴賓準備鄉村美食。 9b1e7029f1ce084bc6d6f57a9a0fe88d






"Rural Picnic" uses vegetables and fruits that are homegrown by the farmers. This simplest type of cuisine is also what the farmers themselves eat at home. It therefore guarantees its freshness and nontoxicity while bringing rich and touching qualities of Tainan folks.
「田園野宴」是由農民自家栽種的蔬果當食材,也是農民自家在吃的,因此保證新鮮無毒,最單純的料理方式,帶出濃濃的台南人情味。 48d2fcaf5c123131ae4957f20d628b59 ==it says rural-style picnic in Chinese/中文寫著[田園野宴風味餐]==

There is a backyard utilizing the simplest landscape gardening that's pleasing to the eye while you are eating.
而你在吃飯時,還有一個後院,用最單純的庭園造景,提供你最好的視覺。 868890f365b79da6720cd71a1d115f63

There is also a Pupil Area inside the factory, symbolizing the spirit of continued tradition. The students from the nearby Tainan Municipal Hou-bi District Shu-ren Elementary School utilized Woodblock Printing to tell their stories, which touched the heart of Jimmy Group.
工廠內還有一個「學童特區」,象徵藝術精神的傳承。這是土溝附近的樹人國小學生,擅長用版畫說自己的故事,感動幾米團隊。 7097c2c9613611a065d808caa6b3a204

Jimmy is a renowned artist in Taiwan. Aside from Yi-lan, this is the only place with his famous artwork.
幾米是個台灣著名畫家。全台灣除了宜蘭,只有這裡有他的知名作品。 7b61a7493913eabf805526f13d597029 ==The sheep in the center with a kid reading atop is Jimmy's artwork./有個小孩坐在中間的羊上看書, 這是幾米的作品。==

Parents bring the students to the Native Taiwanese tribe in Tai-tung, giving them the opportunity to experience the aboriginal lifestyle for the first time. The kids showcase their summer-trip diaries using Woodblock Printing.
大人帶學童到台東原住民部落,給他們第一次體驗原住民風情機緣,回家後小朋友用版畫,呈現出自己夏天旅行的日記內容。 5492811a065e4d00f9dd2db1292202c9




You can see parking signs everywhere, affording convenience. Although the scope of the art festival expanded to the nearby Zhu-zijiao Settlement this year, knowing the non-festive season is 7 months long, you may still wonder where to go when you are in Togo.
到處可見的停車指標,讓你方便前來,雖然今年藝術季擴大到附近的竹子腳聚落,但你可能會想,不是藝術季期間,長達7個月,來土溝要參觀什麼呢? 5cace703d4d8b47b97c2e1c0a770c16c



Along Muncipal Road 90 South is the art boulevard that we mentioned. You can find frequently displayed artwork. For instance, the Togo Livingroom was transformed from an abandoned pig farm into a place to dine and drink tea.
南市90沿線,也就是剛說的藝術大道,你可以找到常設的作品。例如土溝客廳,將農家廢棄的豬舍,改成用餐和泡茶地點。 af13c5b69a0976fd53f6c14a8fe80e68



There are still residents inside. You can drink tea with them while checking out the designs of the renovated interior full of classical art.
因為還有居民住在裡面,你可以和他們泡茶,欣賞重新設計,充滿藝術典雅的內部裝潢。 c8ce42ce959f5cf78e86fa0b1acab38d

For example, the door god painted by art students and the installation art provide an atmosphere more creative than a typical livingroom.
例如藝術系學生創作的門神,以及裝置藝術,比一般客廳還有創意。 c6f44b8f10167f7ecb42d9b77f517001


There is also a bus stand with a pinwheel by the green field. A pink table set is inside the yellow bus stand, allowing you to sit down and admire the beautiful field.
還有風車公車招呼站,在翠綠的田邊,黃色的站體內,布置一張粉紅椅子,讓你可以坐下來休息,欣賞田間美景。 7b4d6b6dfeb852d1008a6ff7bae01d77

The "Little Place of Happiness" bus sign has become the landmark of the local exhibition. The area next to the house sits a cement couch with painted mosaic. You can sit down and perhaps drink some beverages while getting some rest. It's quite special.


The "Bufflo Bookstore" is a bookstore that does not sell their books. The books on display are for you to enjoy some reading fun while under the shade of a typical Chinaberry in Chai-nan Plain.
「水牛書店」,有書店但不賣書,陳列了水牛書店提供的書籍,讓你在嘉南平原常見的苦楝樹蔭下,享受閱讀的樂趣。 168c94cf073ad166036e4ae3c63cee5d


There are many attractions outside the village. For example, there are the three reservoirs nearby, the famous Baihe Silk Cotton Kapok Road, Orchid Biology and Science Park, and Happy Rice in Jing-liao Village.

Continue going toward the mountain area, and there is the famous Guan-ziling Hot Spring.

You can book a group visit and meal in Togo through Togo Rural Culture Community Development Organization located on 56 Tugou Village No. 1, Hou-bi District, Tainan.

Search for Togo Rural Village Art Museum on facebook as well, we guarantee that it will leave you with a different impression on rural villages in Taiwan!

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