Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Taipei: An Artist's Playground

Taipei is an artist's playground with many art areas and creative parks around the city. If you love the arts, then Taipei is a great place to visit. Here are a few that we visited.

No.10 Chengdu Rd.,Wanhua District,Taipei City
Sunday to Thursday 11AM to 930PM (Closed on Mondays)
Friday and Saturday 11AM to 10PM

This red brick building (thus the name "The Red House") was built in 1908 as a marketplace where flowers, books, medicine, and produce can be bought. Today it continues as a market, but a market for artists to sell their creations. The Red House also has tea shop on the first floor and a theater on the second.

Directions to The Red House: Take the MRT Bannan (Blue) Line to Ximen Station, Exit 1.

No. 7 Beiping E. Rd., Taipei City
Tuesday to Sunday 11AM to 9PM
* Village Cafe is open until 11PM

Why Village? Taipei Artist Village is where artists, local or otherwise, can converge. It is where they can take residency, create art, and exhibit art. Only the exhibit hall and the coffee shop (called Village Cafe) are open to the public.

Directions to Taipei Artist Village: Take the MRT to Shandao Temple Station, Exit 1. Walk to Tianjin St., turn right toward Beiping E. Rd., then cross. Taipei Artist Village is on the corner. OR Take the MRT to Taipei Main Station, Exit M2. Walk east on Beiping Road, cross Zhongshan N. Rd. and continue for one block to Tianjin St. Taipei Artist Village is on the corner.

No. 39 Chang'an W. Rd., Datong District, Taipei City
Tuesday to Sunday 10AM to 6PM
Admission Fee: NT$50 (about Php 75)

Another good place to visit is the Museum of Contemporary Art. Unfortunately, when we visited, MOCA was under renovation and only a small portion was open: an exhibit by Korean artist Purume Hong called Hope Has a Place. The exhibit was of landscapes in ink wash. The lights and sounds added to its beauty—the light (sun) moved just like sunrise to sunset (top photo); the waterfall looked like it was flowing (bottom right photo).

Directions to Museum of Contemporary Art: Take the MRT Danshui Line to Zhongshan Station, Exit R4.

No. 1, Bade Road Sec. 1, Zhong Zhen District, Taipei
Tuesday to Friday 10AM-10PM
Individual exhibits and performances in the park may charge an admission fee.

The buildings in the creative park were built in 1914 and were used as a wine factory. The factory was abandoned in the late 1980s. A group of thespians discovered the abandoned factory in 1997 and used it (illegally) for plays and performances. It was only in 2005 that the area was rebuilt and in 2007 opened as Huashan 1914 Creative Park.

We visited after 8PM and only got to see art installations and a few shops around the park. Although the park is open until 10PM, some shops/exhibits close early.

Directions to Huashan Creative Park: Take the Nangang (Blue) Line to Zhong Xiao Xing Sheng Station, Exit 1. From Exit 1, continue to walk straight for about a block until you see an underpass and a giant red diamond. The Huashan Creative Park is just across the street.

No. 133, Guangfu South Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City
Outdoor areas: 8AM to 10PM
Indoor areas: 9AM to 6PM
Individual exhibits and performances in the park may charge an admission fee.
 Bamboo Transformation Series by Wen–Fu Yu

Clockwise from top left: Horizontal Records by Ei Wada; Tetris by Michael Johansson; PeachBlossom by Pip & Pop.


Food trucks

Another factory (this time a tobacco factory) turned creative park is the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park. The buildings in the park serve as exhibit halls, offices, museum, restaurant, cafe.

During our visit, there were several exhibits that charged admission that we did not get to see (it was the last day of our trip and we were down to our last few Taiwan dollars). But there were free exhibits and art installations around the park to check out. Even the walls and the food trucks caught our attention.

Directions to Songshan Cultural and Creative Park: Take the Banqiao (Blue) Line to Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall Station, and take Exit 5. Walk for about 550m to Yanchang Road (the intersection of Civic Boulevard and Guangfu South Road).  OR Take the MRT Banqiao (Blue) Line to Taipei City Hall Station, and take Exit 1 (with stairs) or Exit 2 (with escalators) and walk for about 400m to Lane 553, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road.

This article is featured in:

Taiwan Series:
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Wisdom from the Road #20
Welcome to Taiwan
Taipei Accommodation: Fun Taipei Backpackers
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Wisdom from the Road #21
An Artist's Playground (you're here!)
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Life in Mini
Time to Count My Money, Taiwan
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Tasting Taipei, Splurge Section
Tasting Taipei, Shilin Market
Tasting Taipei, Random Food Finds