It is not uncommon for a city to have wall paintings or graffiti on buildings. But when I heard Tainan has a street for it, I immediately put this on my agenda. I am talking about the ‘Haianlu’ Art Street.
Tainan City is located in the south of Taiwan as an old capital of the island. It is an hour away by train from KaoHsiung and the old streets are the best historic mirror of Taiwan colonial times. I took a taxi getting off the train and headed straight to the Anping old district – a tourist district with key places like Anping Old Fort and Anping Tree House. Not to mention the overwhelming numbers of food stalls and dining places that filled with local delicacies, snacks, and souvenirs in between the old town allies.
After that, I rented a bike in the Anping area and I was on my way to explore the Haian Road in the West-central District. Starting off an underground shopping mall construction site, the project was halted due to poor civil planning; the ventilation systems that were installed in the middle of the road and demolished old houses remained as a reminder of the failed past. The street was closed for several years until reopened as a board avenue with an exciting local nightlife. Bars and restaurants were set up within the old buildings along the road; the interior, though, were mindfully re-decorated with a modern artistic vibe. Local artists like Liu Kuo-tsang also helped beautify the neighborhood since 2004 with wall paintings that illustrate Taiwanese way of life.
One of the key attractions was the “blueprint wall”– a wall painting of a ruined house. The painting depicted an interior of a home with the old film developing techniques. Sadly the original art piece was removed due to issues with the owner of the building. The BCP Tainan is a new art and culture area to perpetuate the spirit and dream to pursue a more artistic and creative community. Art is evolving in an old town harmoniously.