Being an island, Taiwan is surrounded by the ocean. And as such, the ocean is closely related to our lives. In light of this fact and in order to help the general population gain a deeper understanding of oceanic culture and appreciate its importance, Yang Ming Marine Transportation Corporation conceived a business strategy with a vision to promote oceanic culture. The strategy would not only offer a diversified, cultural living space but also promote local/foreign oceanic cultural events and the tourism industry. The first step taken by the corporation was to restore and renovate the historical architecture located across TRA’s Keelung Station that was completed on May 4, 1915. The goal was to transform the dilapidated building into a new landmark featuring retro elements infused with modern oceanic styles. The restored architecture has been renamed Oceanic Culture & Art Museum (OCAM in short) and was reopened on December 28, 2004. Yang Ming Marine Transportation Corporation wishes that the museum would serve as an ideal venue for the general public to become familiar with oceanic culture and catch glimpses of different facets of mankind’s advancement as civilizations through developments in oceanic culture, history, geography, art and handicrafts so that visitors can appreciate and marvel at the wonder of oceanic culture.
Prior to its restoration, the former building of the Oceanic Culture & Art Museum was under the possession of Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha. The building was constructed as a “historical styled architecture” featuring pointed roofs on round towers with walls bobbed in lateral stripes and oeil-de-boeuf windows. However, the building's contours were relatively simple and its style can be described as a gradual transition towards eclecticism. Not only that, the building also has a colonnade arcade and it was considered an important architecture on the west dock of Keelung at the time. The building still carries a special meaning even today because it has preserved local history and witnessed the development of Keelung Port’s network in the domain of naval transportation during the Japanese colonial period.
In order to promote sustained oceanic culture, art and education, Yang Ming Marine Transportation Corporation founded "Yang Ming Cultural Foundation" (central organization scaled entity) on May 13, 2005 in accordance with pertinent regulations in the hopes of becoming actively involved in the promotion of oceanic cultural education themed events for the general public through various cultural, artistic, educational activities and shows.
The Scope of Yang Ming Cultural Foundation's operations include:
1. To promote and deepen the general public’s understanding of oceanic culture.
2. To organize exhibitions, education, research, collection, promotion, tourism and recreational activities related to oceanic culture while offering innovative features.
3. To organize, sponsor and award cultural, academic and artistic activities related to oceanic culture.
4. To collect, compile and publish cultural, academic and artistic literatures on oceanic culture.
5. To assist and organize other events related to oceanic culture or manage/develop related businesses.
6. To perform other charitable/cultural affairs that are in line with the foundation's founding missions.
In recent years, Yang Ming Marine Transportation Corporation has been aggressively utilizing its corporate expertise to feature oceanic culture education as a theme to draw widespread participation from the general public. And thus, after establishing the Oceanic Culture & Art Museum in Keelung in 2004, Yang Ming Marine Transportation Corporation managed to secure the leasing rights from Kaohsiung City Marine Bureau for the Museum of Marine Exploration located in the Cijin Fishing Harbor area on January 18, 2007. After renovation, the building was reopened on December 28, 2007 with a new name: YM Museum of Marine Exploration, Kaohsiung.