Mon, Dec 01, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Graffiti art adorns Ximen theater

‘XIMEN SPIRIT’:After a long struggle to secure an area for the graffiti, the artists said the piece represents the prosperity, creativity, and revitalization of Ximending

By You Pei-ju and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A mural painted by six graffiti artists adorns the outside wall of the in89 Digital Cinemax theater on Wuchang Street in Taipei’s Ximending area on Nov. 16.

Photo: Yu Pei-ju, Taipei Times

After more than three years of planning and a month of hard work — involving street artists on scaffolding eight floors tall and being chased by bees — the outer walls of a theater in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area recently received a fresh coat of graffiti, which the Taipei City Government claims represents the “Ximen spirit.”

The graffiti was painted by six street artists in concert, including Black, O Gay, Ahdia, Joker, Swazi and DEBE.

According to project manager Cheng Tzu-ching (鄭子晴), from City Marx Workshop, they first asked the theater manager if they could borrow a side of the building in 2011, but were repeatedly refused permission.

In 2012, the workshop decided to apply for Taipei’s Bureau of Culture outdoor art subsidy in order to bring about their vision, but was again turned down, Cheng said.

Although the workshop eventually managed to solve the problem and secured an area of wall for their graffiti, last year they ran into another problem: The owner of the area outside the theater was unwilling to loan them the space to set up the scaffolding.

“It took nearly a year before we persuaded the owner and finally started work in October” Cheng said.

Due to the narrow space, several incidents befell the artists during the process, Cheng said.

Once, they accidentally disturbed a beehive on the wall of the building and had to descend the scaffolding in a hurry, Cheng said, adding that: “The end product, however, is the largest graffiti installation in the nation.”

The silver dragon in the center symbolizes the prosperity and limitless creativity of the Ximending area, while the cat on the upper left corner alludes to the youth culture and nightlife of the area, Cheng said.

The old man at the bottom of the piece was simply a comic element thrown in to inspire laughter from people looking at the graffiti, while the fire in the upper right corner represents the rebirth and renewed vitality of the area, Cheng said.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top