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Where to Experience Art and Design in Taipei


Taipei is a very design-conscious city. In 2016, it was bestowed with the title of World Design Capital, and this reflects its long history as a city of creative design with a passion for the visual arts.

While there are several paid museums, galleries, and exhibitions showing off Taiwanese art and design, there are also some very cool places in Taipei to see it for free. Here are a few of the best of them.

Taipei Fine Arts Museum

With regularly changing exhibits as well as an extensive permanent collection, this is probably the best place to come in Taipei to see some first-class art. Most of the permanent collection showcases works from Taiwanese artists, but the museum also regularly hosts temporary, international exhibitions.

The building is architecturally noteworthy too, as it demonstrates a unique Taiwanese take on the Japanese metabolist architectural movement, and provides loads of natural light and vast open, but comfortable spaces.

This is Taiwan’s first dedicated museum for showcasing creative design and design history, and is set in a former warehouse. It is divided into seven distinct sections, which include interactive design, and international and Taiwanese design. Some parts are presented using the latest technology, making the experience of visiting a really unique one.

The pleasant garden surrounding the museum is also scattered with some pieces of modern sculpture. It is part of the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, an open-air complex of buildings that is home to various galleries, bookshops, and cafés covering six and a half hectares; so, come with some extra time to spare wandering around.
Tucked away in a quiet alley, away from the bustle of Zhongxiao Dunhua shopping street, this cosy little bookshop has consistently been ranked as one of the world’s 20 most beautiful bookshops. The interior is crammed with not only all kinds of books on design and art, but all kinds of other curiosities, trinkets, and unusual souvenirs.

The aesthetic maintains a kind of utilitarian minimalism, while still cramming a lot of stuff into the relatively small space. It almost feels like it could be the forgotten attic of an eccentric collector, just clean and well-organised!
Street Art in the Da’an district

Taipei is not a city famous for its street art, but just on the west side of the Dunhua South Road from VVG Something, there are a few nice pieces to be spotted. Here, there are several pedestrian-only streets (something of a rarity in Taipei) and alleys to explore, some of them serving up some surprisingly surreal and colourful works.
Just opposite the entrance to Herban Kitchen & Bar, one of several great restaurants for vegan food in Taipei, is a huge mural worth coming to check out. Most pieces in Taipei are anonymous as the legality of street art is unclear, so don’t expect to see big-name artists’ work; but rather, enjoy the small offerings by unknown contributors.
Have you ever been to Taipei? If so, what’d you think? If not, would you like to go? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
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