Situated on the intersection of Zhongxiao W. Road and Huaining Street in the Zhongzheng District of Taipei City, the building that houses the National Center of Photography and Images (NCPI) Taipei was the former site of the Osaka Shosen Kaisha Taipei Branch, designed by Japanese architect Setsu WATANABE and completed in 1937. This edifice was among the last reinforced concrete structures build in Taiwan during World War II. The Taiwan Navigation Co., Ltd. And the Taiwan Highway Bureau, Taiwan Provincial Government (now the Directorate General of Highways, Ministry of Transportation and Communications) both occupied this address after World War II. The building was designated as a monument by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government in 2014, and earmarked that same year by the Ministry of Culture as the future site of the NCPI.
Restoration work on this historic landmark was completed in 2019, which reinstated the three levels above ground and one level below ground to its original appearance, for a total area of approximately 2,500 square meters. Revitalized for reuse in 2021 as the NCPI Taipei, the venerable building not only provides a link to generational historical memories, but has also been imparted with a new life that is rich in cultural value through photography and image-based arts.
The mission of the National Center of Photography and Images (NCPI) is to serve as a professional institution for the legacy and development of Taiwan’s photography and image-based arts. With its core functions of collection, research, exhibition, and promotion; and the five perspectives of historical research, public communication, contemporary prospective, and international development; the NCPI hopes to construct discourse and the history of photography and images of Taiwan through its collection and research. And, through innovative curatorial perspectives and exhibition content, the NCPI aims to usher in and respond to developmental trends and aesthetic connotations of photography and image-based art. The NCPI Taipei strives to become a center for innovative thought and community convergence that fosters public understanding and appreciation for photographic and image culture. As a platform for international communication, the NCPI endeavors to share and intercommunicate transnational resources of arts.