Graffiti Walk: Pop Culture in Ximending

Bollywood in Ximending
Bollywood in Ximending

One Saturday afternoon over Chinese New Year, I joined a few of the students in my creative writing class on a jaunt through the trendy streets of Ximending. This area in Taipei is where the young and hip crowd hang. It’s a lively place, especially on weekends. There are several movie theaters, restaurants, and conventionally cool clothing stores. It’s a great place to people watch.  Ximending also has a cool arty undertone to it. Storefronts are a jumble of colored lights, naked wires, and kitschy signs. This is where you’ll find tattoo and piercing shops, and your hardcore vinyl collectors. Taipei’s most fashionably-dressed roam the streets, and the streets are, in some places, literally works of art.

Princeton’s WordNetWeb defines graffiti as: a rude decoration inscribed on rocks or walls. Yet, here in Taipei, the walls are the manifested dreams of talented artists. Taipei’s urban youth reaching for artistic style and development have found their own sort of personal fame and respect on these walls.

Have a peek at how beautiful the streets of Ximending look.

City Marx - Taipei's Street Artists

Taiwan Movie History - Graffiti in Ximending

Grafitti in Ximending

Oh, Audrey - Love from Ximending

Last Night the DJ Saved My Life

Heroes and Dragons - Graffiti in Ximending

Graffiti Ride

Harsh

Director's Choice

Post Author: Carrie Kellenberger

I'm a chronically ill Canadian expat who has been living abroad in Asia since 2003. I moved from China to Taiwan in 2006. My husband and I have owned our own business in Taiwan since 2012. In addition to my own work, I've been writing professionally about Asia, travel and health advocacy since 2007, providing regular content to several publishing companies and travel publications in Asia and North America. Follow Carrie on on Twitter @globetrotteri or on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/carriekellenberger/.

26 thoughts on “Graffiti Walk: Pop Culture in Ximending

    marcus

    (March 6, 2009 - 9:40 am)

    nice. a lot of my friends have made those pieces. i love the art and hate the tagging.

      Carrie

      (March 7, 2009 - 10:32 am)

      Marcus,
      Cool. Your friends are incredible artists!

    Todd

    (March 6, 2009 - 12:37 pm)

    Looks like a interesting stop! I’ll have to make a trip to Ximending next time I’m in Taipei to check it out!

      Carrie

      (March 7, 2009 - 10:33 am)

      Todd,
      I love the area. These two streets in particular are a little hard to find. My students showed me, but I can barely remember where we went. We walked around for an hour or so trying to find it before they figured out where it is.

    Expatriate Games

    (March 6, 2009 - 1:37 pm)

    Yeah this will have to be on my short list of locations to hti if i ever get over there! Looks like fun, nice images!

      Carrie

      (March 7, 2009 - 10:33 am)

      Hi Michael,
      It’s a great little area. When you come, you know who to call!

    Ron in L.A.

    (March 6, 2009 - 5:02 pm)

    That’s all very cool, great stuff…

    R(etc… )

      Carrie

      (March 7, 2009 - 10:35 am)

      Thanks Ron. Doesn’t L.A. have some pretty amazing graffiti, too?

    roentarre

    (March 7, 2009 - 4:19 am)

    Seriously, I will be back to taipei in next week. I am going to hunt down these fabulous graffiti to photograph!

      Carrie

      (March 7, 2009 - 10:36 am)

      Roentarre,
      Are you coming back for a visit or are you coming back for good? How long will you be around for?

    Stevo

    (March 7, 2009 - 5:54 am)

    Cool stuff, Carrie. I saw some of these in your flickr stream. Very colorful. Looks like a cool place to wander around.

      Carrie

      (March 7, 2009 - 10:36 am)

      Hi Steve,
      Yep. Most of my images go on flickr first. I use the FlickrRSS plugin to pull everything in.

    cfimages

    (March 9, 2009 - 1:25 am)

    These are great Carrie. Like Stevo, I originally saw most of these on Flickr. Thanks for sharing.

    Links 9 March 2009 - David on Formosa

    (March 9, 2009 - 1:30 am)

    […] My Several Worlds surveys Ximending graffiti. […]

    WildJunket Nellie

    (March 9, 2009 - 8:05 am)

    Definitely wanna wonder through the streets of Ximending soon. I’m a fan of graffiti!

      Carrie

      (March 11, 2009 - 5:36 am)

      Hi Nellie,
      Thanks for stopping in again. I’m a big fan, too. I don’t think I’ve ever seen graffiti as nice as this, though.

    Nik

    (March 10, 2009 - 12:46 pm)

    Great street art there. I remember some of the graffittis I saw in Hong Kong was very picturesque as well… definitely NOT something you get to see in Singapore… right Nellie? 😉

      Carrie

      (March 11, 2009 - 5:37 am)

      Hey Nik,
      Where did you see graffiti in Hong Kong? I’d love to check it out the next time I go.

    kim

    (March 10, 2009 - 6:11 pm)

    Impressive! I wish they’d have more of this kind of graffiti over here, instead of all the dumb tags. There used to be a team working in Antwerp called ‘Animal Farm’ who did animal graffiti all over town, but they disappeared.

      Carrie

      (March 11, 2009 - 5:39 am)

      Hi Kim,

      I agree. I’d much rather see graffiti like this than the tags we see everywhere else. Despite this, graffiti still makes our world a lot more colorful. I think it’s a really interesting window into life and culture.

    Craig Ferguson

    (March 25, 2009 - 12:43 pm)

    I’ve been playing around on Stumple Upon for the past hour or so and this post popped up. Cool.

    Nivin

    (March 26, 2009 - 4:59 am)

    Hey these are really cool captures! I’ve seen alot in London..being an artist, I tried it myself at home. Its not that easy you kno! and these people are really talented. Nice work Carrie.

      Carrie

      (March 28, 2009 - 6:02 am)

      They are good, aren’t they? What kind of art do you produce?

    Peter

    (June 2, 2009 - 1:05 am)

    Carrie – do you have street names or a map of the area where these were taken? I am coming to Taipei in July and would really like to check out this area. Many thanks!

      Carrie

      (June 3, 2009 - 2:04 pm)

      Hi Peter,
      Wish I could help you, but these works of art are located in the small back alleys of Ximending. It’s a great place to wander around, and you should be able to find them if you give it a little time.

    Street Art: Taiwan | Off Track Planet

    (February 11, 2011 - 7:00 pm)

    […] a huge mural painted by Bbrother in 2008. To go a little outside of the uber-legal, check out the Ximending neighborhood. Most of the streets are sprayed with art and the neighborhood is full of young […]

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