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Ximending draws young artists to show their creativity

Many artists sell their creative products at the Red House in Ximending. (Photo Courtesy of Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City)The western district of Taipei boasts rich, diverse cultures such as traditional culture, pop culture and teenager subculture. To promote a creative city and economy, Taipei City’s Department of Cultural Affairs drew a block map of this area to introduce cultural and artistic activities in Ximending and Monga.

The city government has focused on the development of cultural and creative industries since the Legislative Yuan passed the Act for the Development of Cultural and Creative Industries this January, the department’s director Hsieh Hsiao-yun said, adding that high cultural and creative concentration could have a cluster effect to boost the city’s creative economic growth.

Taipei now has 11 creative blocks that have attracted many buyers and sellers to congregate. The Ximending and Monga block, for example, has more than 60 creative shops.

“This block not only draws creative artists to seek inspiration from street cultures in Taipei, but also allures international tourists from China and Hong Kong to visit,” said Liu Wei-Kung, Associate Professor from the Department of Sociology at the Soochow University.

“They love to have fun in this area because it has been well-known for its historical monuments, including the Longshan Temple, the Zhongshan Hall, the Red House and the Bopiliao Old Street, and for its theme streets of herb tea, Buddhist statues, costumes and props, tattoos, movies, American second-hand clothing and Taiwanese snacks.”

The department also held an exhibition between Sept. 4 and Oct. 31 to showcase 15 artists’ pieces. Visitors can use this complete map to explore the stores, watch the artworks, and have something to eat, drink or get some rest.