City Scenery

Artist: Pan Yuyou
Location: Treasure Hill Artist Village, Taipei, Taiwan

Year of completion: 2011
Researcher: Hsiangling Lai, Huey-Fen Chu

The mural projects of Pan Yuyou have been a vital, cultural centerpoint for the Taipei Treasure Hill historic village.

The development of the village began after the end of Japanese rule. Located on Small Guanyin mountain beside Hsintien Creek, the area was originally part of Taipei's water district and was protected by the army. Originally, there was only a small cluster of six families from south Fujian Province living around the Treasure Hill Buddhist temple. After Taiwan's recovery of self-government, until 1960, the army gradually retreated from the area, and Taipei's water supply system was re-engineered away from the mountain. By the 1980s, with rapid economic changes, migrant groups from the countryside had begun to populate the hillsides. After years of improvised housing construction, the community grew to more than a hundred households, living in a mutually supportive network.

In 2004, the Taipei Bureau of Cultural Affairs registered Treasure Hill as an historic settlement—the first such designation in the city—and in 2010 the Taipei Artist Village was established. The Treasure Hill landscape has a distinctive rambling quality; its paths and stairways wind about the gentle slope of the mountain through the neighborhood's eclectic structures. In addition to conserving the neighborhoods of the existing residents, the government policy for Treasure Hill provided for the establishment of a local arts camp and youth club, the Treasure Hill Community Center, and the Treasure Hill International Arts Village and International Youth Club. These programs were conceived as three mutually reinforcing components of a settlement with a bright future.

More Below

This project focuses on the International Arts Village and its related public art projects, which have brought artists’ visions to bear on the challenge of conserving the historic architecture of the place while enriching life of the settlement. Treasure Hill has historically been a patchwork of different generations, cultures, and ethnicities; and after the renovations it continues to fulfill the function of cultural interchange. Creative people and international travelers venture out of the downtown to mix together, while at the same time Treasure Hill has become more integrated into metropolitan Taipei, and has become a major cultural attraction.

City Scenery captures the urban character of Treasure Hill by portraying key components of its streetscape and residential spaces together. The work records the diverse elements of urban life through vivid hand-painted murals, which offer the public an opportunity to consider the city in novel, modular compositions. The artist first conducted a survey of the settlement and surrounding area, and through interviews and questionnaires established eight visual subjects: “Tingzhou Road development,” “Water Market,” “Little Guanyin Mountain Ecosystem,” “Toad Mountain and Coast Trail,” “Live House,” “Library and Café,” “Bicycle,” and “Treasure Hill collective life.”

All copyright belongs to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.

Progress Agency