Street art shin­ing

In Tai­wan, graf­fiti artists are en­cour­aged to brighten city.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Culture -

At the edge of a bustling shop­ping district, tai­wan’s graf­fiti artists are find­ing a safe haven for their art at a re­vi­talised park.

More parts of the is­land have wel­comed le­gal graf­fiti zones as tai­wan seeks to cast it­self as a hub for cre­ativ­ity and de­sign.

One of the best known is the taipei Cin­ema Park, just blocks away from the neon-lit Xi­mend­ing district – the heart of youth cul­ture in the cap­i­tal.

Adorn­ing walls around the plaza and along the sur­round­ing al­ley­ways, colour­ful mu­rals have trans­formed a once derelict area into a be­guil­ing vis­i­tor at­trac­tion.

Not only is graf­fiti in the zone sanc­tioned by au­thor­i­ties, artists can also rest as­sured their art­work will be seen and re­spected, said Jimmy Cheng, who man­ages the graf­fiti space.

“there are a lot of dif­fer­ent types of graf­fiti. Some are worth pre­serv­ing,” he said.

“If there’s no man­age­ment of a space, then good art­work will get cov­ered up. I think that’s a shame,” said Cheng, him­self a for­mer graf­fiti artist.

Artists are re­quired to show their port­fo­lio be­fore they are al­lowed to spray on the park’s walls.

Cheng said that proper cu­ra­tion of the park’s walls helped to pre­vent ar­gu­ments be­tween ri­val artists.

“If no one man­ages it, then it’s a con­stant bat­tle of ‘I’ll cover yours if you cover mine’,” he said.

the taipei Cin­ema Park also hosts events such as street dance and tat­too­ing, and reg­u­larly in­vites in­ter­na­tional artists to spray on its walls.

Graf­fiti also abounds along taipei’s river­side, where elab­o­rate pieces can of­ten be spot­ted under bridges and on dike walls. — AFP

(Far left) A man and child walk­ing past street art painted over the shut­ters of a shop in Taipei’s Xi­men district.

(Left) More parts of the is­land have wel­comed le­gal graf­fiti zones as Tai­wan seeks to cast it­self as a hub for cre­ativ­ity and de­sign.

— Pho­tos: AFP

A mo­tor­cy­clist rid­ing past a mu­ral in Taipei’s Xi­men district.

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