[Taipei, Taiwan] ~ Finding treasures in an artist village

Seeing what was and what is  – 02.20.16

After visits to more known landmarks in the city LONGSHAN TEMPLE and CHIANG KAI-SHEK MEMORIAL HALL,  my next destination during my first day in Taipei was on a lesser known historical site. Called TREASURE HILL ARTIST VILLAGE, this place caught my attention due to its story of transformation. Originally resided in by illegal settlers, this place was rebuilt as a place for residence and/or crafts for artists in 2010. This transformation is not without its controversy as certain parties felt it was not a very good decision to make people lose their homes to promote arts.

For tourists though, it was nonetheless a place for quite a stroll – with vibes of contradictions of what was and is.

While the village is located within a relatively long walking distance from the MRT station, walk to there is guided and far from boring especially for someone like me who gets entertained quite shallowly with various forms of street doodle.

20160220_111922Let the sign guide you

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20160220_114003For solo travelers, mirrors like this are helpful at times

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20160220_114104If you zoom in, that was a sign that said TREASURE ARTIST TEMPLE

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On the way there is place for playing tennis

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At the entrance

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Before village’ main road  is this temple

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What village is like

Even without knowledge of its history, a nice stroll around village is still likely to be worth it. The place did not overwhelm as during that morning, there were just the right amount of people, most of which artists finding their workspace.

Works of art are also modestly scattered which I suppose complements the concept of a village with works of art than the other way around. Although I knew at that time there were actual residents, it was hard to imagine as both residences and studios seemed deserted that day. It gave a similar feel as to walking around this traditional village in Korea called Bukchon where I knew there’s life but there seem to be only bits of signs of it.

My walk there was then mainly of literally just going around – taking in and capturing what seemed interesting from both of what looked abandoned as well as from what was installed when this village was converted.

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Where they were setting up

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‘Sit anywhere’ kind of day

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Photo of someone taking a picture of something taking a picture

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If you prefer a guided walk

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Guardians

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Find the hidden face

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View from the higher portion of the village

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Oh these places that cannot be entered

###20160220_115433Oh this one-eyed bunny

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20160220_115514Hmm. What does these mean?

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Some eerie in these empty hallways

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And I cannot remember why I took this photo but looking at it now, I wonder where those people were off walking to?

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Cheery boys

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Sweet n Sour

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That red gate stands out among the greys and browns

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I personally love those chipped off tiles

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And this man by the window

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As if this tree grew from that giant rock

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Table for stamping, except that it was missing

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This used to be something

###20160220_120332Giant fortune cookies

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These plants as signs of habitation

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Decorative

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More signs of ‘life’

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At the topmost part

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Probably a studio / shop

(Unlike others, one can see from the window but at that time, it seemed closed)

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Fellow visitors

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Another restriction

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People live here

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Umbrella hoarder

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Their version of a bulletin board

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Information center for events

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As I was about to leave, there were slightly more people

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This was an attempt to peak at their work

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On the lower portion is this garden 

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… and these robots

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I’ll just walk because I cannot bike

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As if some tree branch grew from my shoulder

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How to get to Treasure Hill Artist Village

Take the MRT green line and go down at Gongguan Station. Walk for about 10 to 15 minutes from Exit 1.

Opening hours : Tuesday – Sunday, 11AM – 10PM. Entrance is free.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Kristina Correa (or more known to almost all people in her life as Teng) is based on the city of Manila in the Philippines and whenever she can, cools off with routine and gets her doses of happy someplace else. She doesn’t mean to inform and help plan (as obvious with her laziness with details) but hopes her stories and photos can inspire you to create your own.

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