The creative side of Taiwan is youthful, innovative, and free-spirited, and it is this Formosa with which you are sure to fall in love at first sight. Moving forward at its own pace, Taiwanese style never loses track of global trends. Design, remix, evolve, and season with a youthful, free-spirited soul—the open-minded atmosphere of Taiwan has fostered countless notable chapters of creativity, the ever-changing appearance of which charms travelers every time they visit.
Keywords of the creative side of Taiwan: be yourself, true and free
Taiwan is well on its way to freeing itself from its traditional persona, and transforming into an open-minded, free, and progressive society. Not only are the people of Taiwan sincere to each other, they’ve also learned to be true to their inner selves, gradually forming into a persistent character which you can observe in the independent bookstores and shops that possess little funds but continue to sprout up throughout the country. Their unrestrained creativity supports them in forging a future that they believe to be both valuable and meaningful. The enthusiastic sparkles in their curious eyes, not overshadowed by their hardworking bodies, are a perfect representation of the charming personality of this creative side of Taiwan.
What’s more, with the development of democracy and the interflowing between various cultures during the past century, Taiwan has become a melting pot for a diverse group of people. Direct channels like gatherings and protests are common platforms for Taiwanese people to broadcast their voices on serious political and social issues. The LGBT pride parade has become one of the biggest annual events for Taiwanese people to express themselves. In addition, Taiwan is the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. Needless to say, Taiwan is an open-minded society embracing all groups, cultures, and ideologies, and valuing human rights and freedom.
Discover arts spaces and creative cultural sites
To discover the further beauty of the creative side of Taiwan, it can be fascinating to observe how creativity is evolving in classic old locales. Huashan 1914 Creative Park and Songshan Cultural and Creative Park are two perfect places to begin. The vast Huashan 1914 Creative Park, once the Taipei Wine Factory, is now famous for its cinema playing indie and art films, independent bookstore hidden on the second floor of one of the red-brick buildings, music and performance venues, numerous exhibition halls, and a meadow for outdoor concerts, picnics, and strolls. In southern Taiwan, a cluster of old warehouses by the harbor was released from its forgotten destiny through the endeavors of a group of artists. It was transformed into the Pier-2 Art Center where you can now walk or hop on a small train to discover the bold graffiti, contemporary arts displays, and design elements throughout the park, and wander through bazaars and music festivals.
In most cities in Taiwan, you will discover plenty of small, multi-functional spaces. Take the unique and stylish Pong Ding near the Zhongshan MRT station in Taipei for example, an arts and culture space that holds exhibitions, displays design books, and offers coffee. You can also find several small, sometimes unsupervised, exhibition spaces hidden in various city blocks, making Taipei a city full of surprises. Furthermore, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum near Yuanshan MRT station, the first contemporary art museum to open in Taiwan, is a beautiful white building with huge french windows and is home to diverse and important curated projects and exhibitions. The Taipei Expo Park next to the art museum is also worth a weekend visit to feel the laid-back vibes of everyday Taiwan. These distinctive creative sites deliver all the youthful energy of Taiwan’s arts and culture scene.
Experience the diversity and creativity of daily life
In order to get a closer look at the creative side of things, besides the free-spirited Taiwanese people and the fascinating locales, there is so much more in the daily life of Taiwan just waiting for you to come and explore. For instance, an increasing number of young people are returning to their hometowns from abroad, and opening select shops, cafés, and independent bookstores. You will be surprised to learn that Taiwan has the highest density of coffee shops doing their own bean roasting in the world. Chamber Café hidden in an old building in Tainan makes you feel like you are enjoying a nice cup of coffee on a movie set. The nostalgic, whimsical Decryption Room in Hualien, also situated in an old house, displays an abundance of antiques and serves Hakka meals homemade by the owner’s mother, as well as great cocktails and other food and drink. These unique and eccentric shops spreading throughout Taiwan demonstrate that Taiwan is a diverse and colorful land, with much more to offer than just the usual sightseeing spots.
Furthermore, contemporary Taiwanese cuisine infused with local ingredients and innovative cooking techniques will surprise you with its deliciousness and textures. AKAME, a restaurant in the Kucapungane Tribe in Wutai Township of Pingtung County, is operated by a young indigenous fellow. Using natural ingredients from the mountains and cooking with European skills and aesthetics, AKAME gives traditional indigenous dishes a whole new interpretation. On the other hand, inner-city bistros portray Taiwan’s creativity and charm through gourmet food and abundant alcoholic beverage options as well. Meowvelous Taipei Fan Club, fusing Taiwanese cuisine with exotic elements, is another must-see classic.
This issue is our hearty invitation for you to book a trip and come explore all the youthful, genuine, and free-spirited creativity of Taiwan. From cultural parks to unique shops, indigenous tribes to big cities, contemporary cuisine to arts and cultural events, each corner in every city will surprise you!