2023 Hakka Expo “Sense of Belonging”


From the Landing Boat to Hualien, from Hualien Bay to the World

Did you know that one-third of Hualien's population are Hakka people? Tracing back along the river of history, you'll discover that the Hakka ancestors, who came to Taiwan from China, also ventured to Hualien by boat. After landing at Hualien Bay and facing various survival challenges, they finally settled down in the longitudinal valley. With the integration of elements from other ethnic groups, the Hakka people in Hualien have gradually developed a unique and diverse cultural identity.

The 2023 Hakka Expo brought together the cultures of Hakka communities from all over Taiwan. Following the theme "Sense of Belonging," it curated Hualien's Hakka culture, drawing on the local conditions of Hualien and integrating digital technology, art, and natural materials. Through three main exhibition areas—"Exploring Hualien," "Local Life," and "Out to the World"—and with insights gleaned from a year-long field study by students and faculty from National Dong Hwa University, it showcased the resilient spirit of Hualien's Hakka people, akin to the endless ebb and flow of the tide.

Natural Landscape + Cultural Characteristics + Interactive Technology

At the entrance of the exhibition area, the surging waves of Hualien Bay and the majestic features of the longitudinal valley are not only the inspiration for the exhibition design but also the starting point for the Hakka immigrants in Hualien. "I followed my family onto the boat, and after several days of voyage, what greeted us was the rough sea that day. Everyone slowly stepped onto the boat amid the danger, and a wave hit, soaking me completely." Even though many years have passed, the elderly still recall the situation vividly, feeling the lingering fear. This terrifying impression reflects the unwavering spirit of the Hakka people, who landed a century ago with no way back and a determination to survive at all costs.

For this exhibition, starting from Hualien Bay, we've integrated the imagery of the flowing tide throughout the venue, combining interactive technology, spatial design, and content display. We blend Hualien's unique longitudinal valley, mountains, seas, and natural elements, providing a comprehensive curatorial proposal for Hualien's Hakka culture. From the rippling map of the eight major Hakka villages in Hualien, to the mountain and sea elements sampled from Hualien's landscape, to the on-site handcrafted original bamboo screens by artisans, we infuse the limited space with the most local history, environment, and human warmth through the integration of technology, art, and natural materials. The immersive interactive exhibition design offers visitors a sensory experience integrating sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch, allowing them to experience the resilient spirit of Hualien's Hakka people, who fear no hardships. Through the most immersive interactive exhibition planning, we invite the public to feel the spirit of Hualien's Hakka people across a century and share with the world the flourishing spirit of Hualien's Hakka culture.

Audience Feedback

#The content is very informative, allowing people to gain a deep understanding of Hualien's history. #The visuals are beautiful 💙. The magnificent mountains and waters of Hualien are definitely worth seeing. #It feels like I really crossed the sea with them and arrived in Hualien. A fantastic experience.


The Hakka Expo Hualien County Area Shines with "Scenery of Mountains and Waters”