“WE HOPE TO SET UP PON DING AS A MEETING POINT WHERE PEOPLE CAN FIND MANY POSSIBILITIES THROUGH THEIR UNIQUE VISITING EXPERIENCES,” DESCRIBES YICHIU CHEN OF PON DING, AN EXHIBITION VENUE, PROJECT SPACE, BOOKSHOP AND CAFE IN ZHONGSHAN, TAIPEI.
Could you please introduce Pon Ding, who you are and what you do?
Yichiu Chen: We are a collective of friends originally from Taiwan, Indonesia and Japan. Actually we met each other in Bangkok at a design fair about 4 years ago. Since then we have been in touch and collaborating on projects. We are from various backgrounds with working experience in independent publishing, product design and exhibition making.
What makes Pon Ding special? Would you say that your space is unique for Taipei?
YC: The physical form of Pon Ding is a three floor building situated on a small street in West Taipei. It’s very close to Taipei main station. We have spaces for exhibitions, pop-up events, talks and workshops on the first and second floor. The ground floor is the bookstore and cafe section, where we are currently stocking magazines and artist books from many different countries. Visitors can grab a coffee or a drink to enjoy a cozy reading time. Pon Ding is something between a project space and a mini institute. We hope to set up Pon Ding as a meeting point where people can find many possibilities through their unique visiting experiences. I don’t say Pon Ding is already unique but it has a great potential to become very special because of the people who have come to Pon Ding and the ideas they bring here.
Why did you choose the Zhongshan neighborhood to set up shop?
YC: As I mentioned before, Pon Ding is very close to Taipei Main Station. The convenient transportation (three metro stations nearby) yet still quiet enough streets beside the main roads made us feel this area is a hidden gem in Taipei for making a space like Pon Ding. We like those 40 or 50-year-old apartments on this street and local Taipei people who have been living here for two or three generations. It feels we are a new resident moving into this area. Besides, Taipei Artist Village and MoCA Taipei are within 5 minutes walk. This area is slightly off from the hot spots like famous restaurants or clothing stores in the Zhongshan neighborhood but definitely a good area for people who love to discover new things.
Any upcoming events or exhibitions that you would like to share?
YC: In July we will be having a pottery show called “The Coconut Show,” inspired from the transaction activities in tradition Taiwanese farmers’ markets. It is an exciting event combining an art installation and a pop-up store, set up by Taiwanese artist Hsian Jung Chen. He runs a brand called “The Fruit Shop” and makes very appealing pottery objects. We have been preparing this event since last year. Now it’s going to show this summer!
Do you have any favorite publications amongst the 200+ magazines that you stock?
YC: Dirty furniture, King Kong, PAN, Garagisme, MacGuffin, Too Much, Limner Journal, … maybe too many.
What are your hopes and goals for this upcoming first year of Pon Ding?
YC: I hope to fill up the program at Pon Ding for next year by the end of this year. I hope to make a thorough online presentation of Pon Ding with a nice website and an online store and I hope to publish Pon Ding’s own publications. I hope that there will be 2 or 3 more interesting spaces that might open around the neighborhood and I hope to promote more independent published titles in and around Asia.