The Smearing of Taipei City


The city is similar to an architectural drawing that is continually being smeared. As time goes by, the city's stories have also become legendary. The development of the Taipei Basin is closely related to farmland and canals. Such canals connect large and small ponds to form a water network and maintain the lifeblood of people. However, with urbanization, waterways had been filled and covered to become roads and MRT networks, transporting the people, logistics, and capital.

Zhongshan North Road and Nanjing East Road are the two most representative axes in Taipei. Zhongshan- Shuanglian area is adjacent to Dadaocheng, which is also an area developed earlier in Taipei. There are fragments of my memory: I roam on greenery passage (from MRT Zhongshan Station to Shuanglian Station), a lively crowded street scene. I strived for the unique taste of Taipei but ended up with a mixture of foreign flavours. Drinking a cup from tourist coffee bar, having a bowl of hot ramen with ice-cold icing, or a slice of French desserts..., the memories sparks lead me only to the arty-fatty shops, fashion department stores, nostalgic cultural creations. Nevertheless, where am I? Where is the sense of happiness? Is it the construction site which fenced up for redevelopment purposes? Or the winding traditional lanes and streets? The urban plan developed roads, sewers and new buildings during the Japanese Occupation. The broken land and the fractures of memory, the Taipei map is torn and uplifted with origami, depicting the changes in the landscape. Simultaneously, the disappearing water canal is displayed in an exaggerated red, as if it also points to the location of the ever-lost landscape.

Keywords: Waterways, urban roaming, memory, anthropomorphism, community


Lee, Su-Hsin