Taipei Street Art

In January 2020, I visited Taipei for a few days and took photos of some of the street art there. Here is a video featuring those photos:

You can view the entire series of photos (134 images) at a higher resolution (2048 x 1365) at Flickr or Google Photos

There are graffiti and simple throw-ups all over Taipei, but many of the more interesting pieces are in Ximending, a popular shopping and entertainment district. The street art in Taipei seems to have been created in roughly equal measure by local artists like Candy Bird (Han Chun-yueh), guest artists from overseas like INSA and MADSTEEZ and expatriates living in Taipei like fleksone.

1. At Tatung University

Mural by INSA and MADSTEEZ

There is a large street art mural at Tatung Unversity by British artist INSA and American artist MADSTEEZ. The mural combines MADSTEEZ’s four-eyed WEENT!LL!AN character (but with her hairstyle and make-up apparently influenced by Peking Opera) with INSA’s GIF-ITI technique. This technique involved re-painting the mural a few times with the stripes, coins and flashes being painted in different positions, photographing the whole process and then later creating a GIF image (which you can see here: streetartnews.net/2014/06/insa-x-madsteez-presents-largest-gif.html) from the photo. Some of the colors have faded a lot since it was created in 2014 for the POW! WOW! Taiwan street art festival. The face used to be purple and the eye-shadow was ruby red (I prefer the faded version).

2. Corner of Zhanghua Road and Hankou Stree

Taipei Street Art: Mural by Bounce

Not far from from the main site for street art in Ximending is a large Star Wars themed mural by BOUNCE that re-imagines Darth Vader and and imperial stormtroopers as bunnies.

The mural continues on the other side of the structure.
Detail view of BOUNCE’s mural: an all-terrain walker firing spray-paint and emitting love.

3. Ximending

One area in Ximending is filled with street art: the area around the intersection of Lane 96, Kunming street and Wuchang Street and the adjacent Taipei Cinema Park. A lot of the murals there were created under the supervision of CITYMARX (citymarx176.wixsite.com/citymarx/news), a kind of street art promotion company.

Facing Taipei Cinema Park are two giant murals that take up entire walls: a Suicide Squad (plus transformers) mural, which was a collaborative effort that CITYMARX was involved with, and a portrait by Girenhao.

Suicide Squad mural: Taipei
Taipei Street Art: Suicide Squad mural at Taipei Cinema Park, Ximending
Detail view of the Suicide Squad mural
Mural by Girenhao

Nearby is this mural inspired by the 2019 Joker movie and painted in a series comic strip frames. This is a collective effort by a team that was led by VASTAR.

Mural inspired by the movie Joker
Detail view of the Joker mural

There are also several eye-catching portraits in this area.

An anime-inspired design
Detail view of a mural
Mural by candy_statuskuo and MANWITHPENCIL
Detail view of a mural by candy_statuskuo and MANWITHPENCIL
Street art in Ximending
Street art in Ximending (detail view)

There are also several wildstyle murals (Wildstyle refers to the street are based on intricate text designs). I particularly like the vibrant colors in fleksone’s piece and the 3D-effect in the piece by orb1taround.

Taipei Street Art: detail view of wildstyle by fleksone
Detail view of wildstyle street art by orb1taround.

I didn’t see many overtly political pieces when I was there, but I did notice this one mural in support of the the anti-government and anti-Mainland protests in Hong Kong.

Mural in support of Hong Kong protesters.

In Ximending, there are also a lot of smaller and more whimsical street art works such as this Batman barrel.

Batman barrel in Ximending
Taipei street art: hooded figure
Sushi time! A cute little girl holding a big cleaver.

The street art area of Ximending is a popular photo-taking spot.

Photographers taking pictures of a model at Taipei Cinema Park, Ximending

There is a lot more street art around this area of Taipei; you can check out more of those images in the YouTube video and photo galleries I linked to at the top of the page.

Taipei street art by DiSK

4. Treasure Hill Artist Village

Treasure Hill Artist Village is a collection of studios, artist residences, galleries and shops located in a former army village on a hillside. In 2011, artist Hsu Che-yu created a series of black and white works, entitled Hidden Stories, based on news articles about the neighborhood’s history and development.

Taipei Street Art: part of a series by Hsu Che-yu entitled Hidden Stories
Hidden Stories
Hsu Che-yu’s Hidden Stories

The Treasure Hill artist village is also home to this mural by Candy Bird. My interpretation of the artwork is that it represents the dehumanizing pressures and drudgery of modern life (with the child-like figure on the far right trying to climb out of that mess).

Taipei street art: Mural by Candy Bird at Taipei Artist Village
Detail view of a mural by Candy Bird

The relatively low-key street art within Treasure Hill itself does a good job of integrating with the architecture of the area. At the base of the hill is an area for practicing tennis, and those courts are filled with more vibrant pieces.

Tennis practice area at Treasure Hill
Facing of against a robot by fleksone at the tennis practice courts near Treasure Hill Artists Village

A detail view of a retro-futuristic cityscape by fleksone

5. Skatepark near the Huashan 1914 Creative Park

If you are in Taipei, the Huashan 1914 Creative Park is worth a visit. It is a former winery that now houses boutiques, galleries and cafés. Beside the site, is a skatepark filled with graffiti and street art.

Skatepark near Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Skatepark near Huashan 1914 Creative Park

The wall at the front of the skatepark is interesting. It is covered with electronic components.

Detail view of the skatepark wall

6. Other Places

On the side of the Taipei Artist Village building is this large mural by Candy Bird (who is also featured in the Treasure Hill section.

Mural by Candy Bird
Detail view of the mural; the exhaust vent has been turned into a periscope

While walking around, I would sometimes come across murals on random streets.

Taipei Street ArtL Lane 97, Tongan St.

When I went to view the winter cherry blossoms around Pingjing street (I was a few days too late, but some trees were still in bloom), I came across this vibrant mural on the side of an elementary school.

Mural on the wall of an elementary school on Pingjing Street

Interestingly, when I returned home and was checking the location on Google Maps, the street view showed two artist doing the preliminary sketch on the wall.

Artist at work (Google Maps)

More Photos

You can view the entire series of photos (134 images) at a higher resolution (2048 x 1365) at Flickr or Google Photos or view the YouTube video.

Three Questions

  1. Which artwork featured on this page do you like the best?
  2. How can street art benefit a community?
  3. Many of the murals were based on commercial properties from Western culture (e.g., Joker, Suicide Squad, Batman, Star Wars). What are the benefits and drawbacks of basing artworks on big pop-culture properties.

Art Challenge

Sketch a wall near your home, school or office. Design an artwork that would go on the wall and add it to your sketch.

~photos and text by


More Street Art Galleries

Taipei Street Art
Street Art in Ottawa, Ontario
Street Art in Shoreditch London
Street Art in Shoreditch, London
Street Art in Hongdae, Seoul
Street Art in Hongdae, Seoul
Street Art in Vancouver, Canada
HKWALLS 2018: Part 1 (Hong Kong)
HKWALLS 2018: Part 2 (Hong Kong)
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Installation by Korakrit Arunanondchai

Here is a video showing an installation by Thai artist Korakrit Arunanondchai at Hong Kong’s K11 MUSEA.

The installation is entitled Painting with History in a Room Filled with People with Funny Names 3. It features a denim-patterned floor, a 20-minute video several painted and costumed mannequins and several large denim canvases featuring abstract shapes in vivid primary colors.

Installation art by Korakrit Arunanondchai: Painting with History in a Room Filled with People with Funny Names 3 (K11 Musea, Hong Kong)

The artist blends themes of religion and pop culture and elements of autobiography and fiction to create a dream-like space that evokes different times and different states of reality.

Installation art by Korakrit Arunanondchai: One of the mannequins
Installation art by Korakrit Arunanondchai

For example some the mannequins sport Manchester United paraphernalia. In one scene in the the video component of the installation, the dedication of many Thai people to Manchester United is presented as being akin to religious devotion.

One of the mannequins (wearing shredded Manchester United gear)
One of the mannequins (wearing Manchester United gear)
One of the mannequins (wearing Manchester United gear)

This artwork on the canvases was inspired by a controversial dance and body paint performance that the artist saw on Thailand’s Got Talent.

One of the mannequins
One of the mannequins (detail view)

The denim-patterned floor represents a giant painting made to be seen from the point of view of a drone or a spirit looking downwards.

Installation art by Korakrit Arunanondchai: Painting with History in a Room Filled with People with Funny Names 3 (K11 MUSEA, Hong Kong)

The gallery showcasing the colorful multimedia exhibit was tucked away at the end of a long tunnel leading to a car park and required a small entrance fee, so no one else was there. That gave me plenty of time to soak up the visuals and music.

One of the mannequins (detail view)
Installation art by Korakrit Arunanondchai
One of the mannequins (detail view)

The Video within the Intallation

The video part of the installation serves a dialogue between the artist and a spirit—called Chantri—which embodies the communication between artist and audience. Chantri is voiced in French by the artist’s mother, You can see excerpts of the video here:

Photo Galleries

You can view the entire collection of 51 photos:

Three Questions

  1. Why do you think the artist focused on denim as a material?
  2. What impression does the use of bright primary color give you?
  3. Do you think pop culture is taking over some aspects of religion? If so, in what ways?

Art Challenge

Find a Barbie, Ken, GI Joe or similar kind of doll (If you have a lot of resources, you can use a mannequin!). Paint it and dress is in a costume that expresses your some aspect of your culture and/or beliefs.


~text and photos by

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New Artwork by Kohei Nawa

Japanese artist Kohei Nawa displayed several new works at Hong Kong’s Pace Gallery.

PixCell Fallow Deer: mixed media sculpture by Kohei Nawa, 2019 (Pace Gallery)

The PixCell Series

The mixed-media sculptures in Kohei Nawa’s PixCell series explore one of the artists common themes—the relationship between nature and artificiality.

PixCell Fallow Deer: mixed media sculpture by Kohei Nawa, 2019 (Pace Gallery)

This sculpture of a deer—PixCell Fallow Deer—was created by covering a real taxidermied deer with transparent glass spheres. Viewed from a distance and brightly lit, the spheres on the surface give off a bright, radiant glow, giving the deer the otherworldly feel of a sci-fi crystalline animal (think of the crystal foxes of the Star Wars universe or a hybrid creature from the movie Annihilation).

PixCell Fallow Deer (detail view): mixed media sculpture by Kohei Nawa, 2019 (Pace Gallery)

If you get a little closer to the sculpture, the animal within starts to become visible, but its shape and colors are distorted by multiple spheres of varied sizes.

Up close, the spheres act like magnifying glasses, allowing you to see fine details such as individual strands of hair.

PixCell Fallow Deer (close-up view): mixed media sculpture by Kohei Nawa, 2019 (Pace Gallery)

To create these sculptures, the artist searches online for taxidermied animals being sold or auctioned off.

PixCell Fallow Deer: mixed media sculpture by Kohei Nawa, 2019 (Pace Gallery)

The word ‘PixCell’ is a portmanteau created by the artist from the words ‘pixel’ (the smallest unit of a digital image) and ‘cell’ (the smallest unit of a life-form).

The exhibition also included a double-headed deer (mounted on the wall like a bizarre hunting trophy) and a rabbit.

PixCell Rabbit: mixed media sculpture by Kohei Nawa, 2019 (Pace Gallery)
PixCell Rabbit: mixed media sculpture by Kohei Nawa, 2019 (Pace Gallery)
PixCell Double Deer: mixed media sculpture by Kohei Nawa, 2019 (Pace Gallery)
PixCell Double Deer (detail view): mixed media sculpture by Kohei Nawa, 2019 (Pace Gallery)

The Throne Series

Also included in the exhibition are three sculptures in the artist’s Throne series. These elaborate sculptures deal with the artist’s concerns about humanity blindly following advancements in computing, science and artificial intelligence. The thrones represent a power that entices us to claim it while at same time threatening to overwhelm us.

Three sculptures in Kohei Nawa’s Throne series

The golden sculpture in the middle is based on traditional designs found in portable shrines and festival parade floats. This throne is unoccupied

Throne (g/p_Pyramid): mixed media sculpture by Kohei Nawa, 2019 (Pace Gallery)

In the middle of the sculpture, there are two metallic spheres, one facing the front and one facing the back. These represent the eyes of the world, with one looking toward the future and the other looking back on the past.

This sculpture is a smaller version of one that was displayed in the glass pyramid at the Louvre. The color is partly inspired by the gold-leaf trim of the museum.

In each of the other two sculptures, the throne is occupied by a tiny childlike figure in what looks to be a spacesuit.

If advanced technology is a throne, does humanity sit on the throne or it subsumed within in? Will we control technology or will it control us?

Throne (p/g_boy): mixed media sculpture by Kohei Nawa, 2019 (Pace Gallery)
Throne (p/g_boy) (detail view): mixed media sculpture by Kohei Nawa, 2019 (Pace Gallery)
Throne (p/g_boy) (view from the side): mixed media sculpture by Kohei Nawa, 2019 (Pace Gallery)
Throne (SiCp_boy) (detail view): mixed media sculpture by Kohei Nawa, 2019 (Pace Gallery)
Throne (SiCp_boy) (detail view): mixed media sculpture by Kohei Nawa, 2019 (Pace Gallery)

The Elements Series

The exhibition also featured nine paintings in Kohei Nawa’s Elements series. These are silkscreen and acrylic works that have dark patterns on even darker backgrounds. They give off a sense of mystery and the unknown as ambiguous, amorphous shapes emerge from and recede back into the darkness.

Element-Black#8: silkscreen on paper, acrylic, wooden panel,by Kohei Nawa, 2019 (Pace Gallery)
Element-Black#7: silkscreen on paper, acrylic, wooden panel,by Kohei Nawa, 2019 (Pace Gallery)

Photography Challenges

One thing about this artist is that his works are quite difficult to photograph! For example, the bright light reflecting off of the PixCell animals tended to blow out the highlights. Therefore, I reduced the exposure when shooting the images. When I was editing the photos, I left the tones a little darker and warmer in order to better bring out the shapes of the spheres.The actual sculptures, when lit up, are brighter.

Similarly, the photos of the dark paintings are not quite as dark as the paintings are in reality.

Go Further

Visit the artist’s website: kohei-nawa.net

Three Questions

  1. Which work do you like best? Why?
  2. What worries do you have about future technology?
  3. Can you think of a metaphor for one of your worries (e.g., an attractive throne)? How could you then represent this metaphor in art?

Art Challenge

Find something in naturea leaf, a branch, a rock, a flower. Transform it by covering it or merging it with something artificial (e.g., thread, cloth, plastic, glitter, etc.).


~text and photos by

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