I love hunting down street art on my travels, and my favourite street art in Taiwan is the Weiwuying Street Art Village 衛武營街頭藝術彩繪. Located in Kaohsiung‘s Lingya district 苓雅 where many of the buildings are covered in larger-than-life murals and street art bursting with colour. I spent many hours strolling around the streets and just staring up in awe. For those looking for street art in Kaohsiung, here’s why you need to check out Kaohsiung’s Weiwuying Street Art Village and how to get there.
History of Weiwuying 衛武營
Before the launch of the new performing arts centre (more on that below) that is also known as Weiwuying, the Weiwuying area used to be known as a military area. It was an important military barracks during both Chinese and Japanese rule, though it was gradually demilitarized in the 80s.
The Wallriors Crew
The Wallriors are a Taiwanese street art crew based in Kaohsiung and most of the works you see in the Weiwuying area stem from the Kaohsiung Lingya Street Art Festival 高雄苓雅國際街頭藝術節 that they organise. I visited in late 2018, but they’ve just added some new works in 2019 so look out for those.
Weiwuying Street Art Highlights
All the works here are spectacular and most of them are very large works, making them even more amazing when you see them in person. I’m tempted to put up every single picture I took here, but in the spirit of encouraging you to go see for yourself, I decided to just show you some works that I wanted to highlight.
The full artwork list can be found in the Wallriors Map at the bottom of this post.
Look out for these Taiwanese currency notes by Tainan artist 回鄉文創 – there’s a 500 NTD version and a 1,000 NTD version. I held up the actual notes for comparison – the proportions aren’t exactly identical, but it’s definitely similar enough.
How to get to Weiwuying
Weiwuying is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s southern city. Scoot flies directly from Singapore to Kaohsiung Airport, or you can take a 2 hours HSR train ride from Taoyuan airport down to Kaohsiung’s Zuoying HSR Station.
To get to Weiwuying, take the Kaohsiung MRT orange line to Weiwuying (O10) Exit 5. The Wallriors have an excellent map that plots out all the street art works you can see in this area below:
Weiwuying / Kaohsiung Center for the Arts
If your tastes skew towards the performing arts, make sure to check out the brand new National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts 國家藝術文化中心 (opened in Oct 2018) which is right next to where the Weiwuying village is. It’s the largest performing arts centre in East Asia and the architecture is pretty snazzy even if you don’t plan to go in and catch a show – I highly recommend taking a walk in the Weiwuying Metropolitan park built around the compound.
Pier 2 Art Centre
For more street art in Kaohsiung, another artsy district worth checking out is Pier 2 Art Centre in the Yancheng district. This abandoned port space was transformed with murals and artwork into a thriving cultural spot today that’s an awesome place to hang out.
Dome of Light
And if there’s one iconic sight you shouldn’t miss in Kaohsiung, that’s the impressive Dome of Light by Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata at the Formosa Boulevard Station. This dome stretches 30m across the ceiling in B1 and it tells the story of Human Life and commemorates the birth of Taiwan’s democracy. There are light shows as well, usually at 11am, 3pm and 8pm on weekdays and additional shows at 5pm and 7pm on weekends.