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Public Art in the Taipei Metro System


Public Art in the Taipei Metro System
Taipei 101/World Trade Center MRT Station, Image courtesy of Hsin-Chien Huang

Taipei is a city filled with public art. The Taipei Metro system alone has over 50 pieces of artworks installed on its premises. According to the Association for Public Art, public art is a reflection of how we see the world and the artist’s response to our time and place combined with our own sense of who we are. Here is a glimpse of our picks of the best public art pieces in the Taipei Metro system. 

Taipei Main Station

As you figure out the maze-like passageways of the main station, you'll most likely come across this androgynous sculpture with a young girl's body and a chicken head. It's holding a pencil in its right hand and water is dripping from its neck. This surreal sculpture invites the commuters to stop and look, and perhaps laugh at its absurdity. But one thing that remains true is that it somehow conveys some sense of alienation, especially in a busy place like the main station.

"Daydream" or "The World in Aves' Eyes" by Joyce Ho and Craig Quintero

Image courtesy of Alex Wang, distributed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license

"Daydream" or "The World in Aves' Eyes" (Plaque) by Joyce Ho and Craig Quintero

Image courtesy of Alex Wang, distributed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license

Taipei 101 / World Trade Center Station (Xinyi Line / Red Line)

Designed by Taiwanese multimedia artist Hsin-Chien Huang, The Moment We Meet is an installation piece which includes two separate split-flap displays showing 10x10 matrices of happy faces of the elderly and young chlidren. The blocks can join together and be rearranged to form infinite number of facial combinations or stand as an individual face. This artwork suggests that when we meet people during our commute, our emotions spread out to others. 

Click here and here to see how the split-display installation works.

Location: Wall along the exit passageway


"The Moment We Meet" (2013) by Hsin-Chien Huang, Split Flap Display Controlled by PLC, Digitally Printed PVC Sheets, Computers, Stainless Steel, Glass, W400 x H300 x L30 cm

Image courtesy of the artist

Detailed shot of "The Moment We Meet" (2013) by Hsin-Chien Huang

Image courtesy of the artist

Taipei Arena Station (Songshan Line / Green Line)

Moving Forward by Taiwanese artist Tung-Lu Hung is an artwork that involves optical illusion. As commuters take the escalator and look up, they will see an artwork that appears to be flat. As the escalator moves down and changes their perspective, they will be amazed to see that the artwork transforms into a three-dimensional piece.

To see the optical illusion for yourself, click here.

Location: West walls of vertical circulation area


"Moving Forward" by Tung-Lu Hung, Acrylic paint, oil paint, lenticular panels, aluminum, galvanized steel

Image courtesy of Soujirou via Flickr

Detailed shot of "Moving Forward" by Tung-Lu Hung

Image courtesy of Soujirou via Flickr

Taipei Arena Station (Songshan Line / Green Line)

Artist Goang-Ming Yuan has been a pioneer in video art in Taiwan. In Energy Activation Code, Yuan applies the principles of Moiré pattern animation. At first, commuters are led to think that the silhouettes are static. Once the white band reaches the silhouette, the silhouette springs into action, demonstrating a sporty move.  

Click here to watch how the illusion works. (You can skip to 0:31.)

Location: East walls of vertical circulation area


Songshan Station (Songshan Line / Green Line)

Artist Yang-Huei Chiang, in cooperation with VERY Conception Corporation, designed Winding River, Flourishing Flowers, Dome of Light. It is composed of thousands of pipes of varying lengths, creating a wave-like effect. When the LED lights are turned on, it transforms into a version of aurora borealis or the northern lights.

Click here to see the artwork. 

Location: Oval hall on the concourse level

"Winding River, Flourishing Flowers, Dome of Light" by Yang-Huei Chiang and VERY Conception Corporation, Stainless steel, crystal, LED,

Image by Phyllis via Flickr, distributed under a CC BY-NC 2.0 license

Xingtian Temple Station (Xinzhuang Line / Orange Line)

Humble Stone International Art Company and Taiwanese ceramic artist Wen-Yi Kung designed Prosperity to the Country and Peace to Her People, a ceramic wall art that extends along the whole wall of the concourse. The artwork shows architectural images of temples, temple rituals and activities, and the Eight Household Generals. The MRT station is close to Xingtian Temple, a popular temple devoted to Guan Yu, the patron god for businessmen.

Location: Concourse

"Prosperity to the Country and Peace to Her People" (2009) by Humble Stone International Art Company/Wen-Yi Kung, Ceramics

Image distributed under a CC BY 2.0 license

Daan Park Station (Xinyi Line / Red Line)

Japanese artist Kiyofumi Siba's The Four Seasons is composed of wall pieces that show the different seasons in a year. When viewed from left to right, the commuters will have a glimpse of each season by looking at the wall pieces made from cypress wood painted with vibrant colors and cut into shapes reminiscent of cherry blossoms, camphor trees, icicles, fallen leaves, and sunflower.

Location: Wall on the concourse level

"The Four Seasons" by Kiyofumi Siba, Cypress wood, stone paint

Image courtesy of Wil-Lian Guzmanos

"The Four Seasons" by Kiyofumi Siba

Image courtesy of Wil-Lian Guzmanos

Fuzhong Station (Banqiao Line / Blue Line)

E Chen's Poetry on the Move works as an interactive bulletin board for announcements as well as allows commuters to post text messages and poetry for public display.

Click here to see the artwork in action.

Location: Open area above concourse level


"Poetry on the Move"  (2005) by E Chen, Steel, LED matrix display, software

Image courtesy of koika, distributed under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license

Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center (Nangang Eastern Extension / Blue Line)

Multimedia artist Hsin-Chien Huang created the video The Richness of Literati Culture as part of "Our Personal Public Art", a video installation consisting of three parts located at three different walls. The Richness of Literati Culture is the second part of the series which shows ancient Chinese characters gliding across the screen slowly against a sepia background.

Click here to see the artwork in action.

Location: Transfer passageway connecting Wenshan-Neihu Line and Nangang Eastern Extension on B1 parking level

Here's a bonus for you!

Outside Taipei Metro system, there's another public art that is located at the most beautiful station in Taiwan...


Formosan Boulevard Station, Kaohsiung

The world's largest work of glass art is tucked away in the busy Taiwanese subway station. Designed by Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata, "The Dome of Light" is 30 meters or 98 feet in diameter and made of 4,500 glass panels, making it the largest work of glass art in the world.

Watch the video here.

Location: B1 level of the Formosa Boulevard Station, where the Kaohsiung MRT Red Line and Orange Line intersect


"The Dome of Light" by Narcissus Quagliata
Image courtesy of the artist

Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.


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