Taipei may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of street art culture, but be prepared to be pleasantly surprised. In Taipei street art—and better yet, good street art—is easy to come by. The capital of the island country of Taiwan is rife with large and small scale street art.

The first place to start is in Ximen, Taipei’s touristy pop culture hub. But that’s not the only place one should look to see Taipei street art. Shida, Daan, and Gongguan are a few areas you may see some beautiful spray painted walls. But really, all you have to do is walk with your eyes open. In doing so, you’re bound to cross paths with artistic expression for public consumption.

Taiwan Street Art – Start with Shop Shutters

Many shops in Taipei enlist street artists to paint their shutters. If you’re really interested in Taipei street art, then an early morning walk before the shops open and the shutters go up is a must.

Taipei street art
The shutter of a closed restaurant entices would-be customers with its street art style.
Taipei street art shop shutter
We’re not sure what kind of shop this is, but we sure like the artwork!

The many styles of Taipei street art

To start, you’ll definitely see a lot of cartoon-like street. It’s sometimes shocking, but almost always fun.

A post shared by CH (@reesie9) on

Graffiti artists travel from other countries to transform this concrete urban sprawl into a public art exhibition.

A post shared by Sheryo & Yok 🌴 (@_sheryo) on

While traditional street graffiti has a definite role in making this city what it is, Taipei street art goes much beyond that. Take these murals for example, each with their own distinctive styles.

A post shared by LA (@lala_land53) on

 This tropical rain forest is painted on the side of a bathroom.

<blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-version=”7″ style=” background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px); width:calc(100% – 2px);”><div style=”padding:8px;”> <div style=” background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50.0% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;”> <div style=” background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAABGdBTUEAALGPC/xhBQAAAAFzUkdCAK7OHOkAAAAMUExURczMzPf399fX1+bm5mzY9AMAAADiSURBVDjLvZXbEsMgCES5/P8/t9FuRVCRmU73JWlzosgSIIZURCjo/ad+EQJJB4Hv8BFt+IDpQoCx1wjOSBFhh2XssxEIYn3ulI/6MNReE07UIWJEv8UEOWDS88LY97kqyTliJKKtuYBbruAyVh5wOHiXmpi5we58Ek028czwyuQdLKPG1Bkb4NnM+VeAnfHqn1k4+GPT6uGQcvu2h2OVuIf/gWUFyy8OWEpdyZSa3aVCqpVoVvzZZ2VTnn2wU8qzVjDDetO90GSy9mVLqtgYSy231MxrY6I2gGqjrTY0L8fxCxfCBbhWrsYYAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;”></div></div><p style=” color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;”><a href=”” style=” color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none;” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Jean Latiere (@jeanlatiere)</a> on <time style=” font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;” datetime=”2016-06-06T04:53:35+00:00″>Jun 5, 2016 at 9:53pm PDT</time></p></div></blockquote> <script async defer src=”//”></script>

A post shared by Catsverige (@catsverige) on

 Also, large scale murals that take on sometimes shocking subject matters seem to be embraced by the city.

A post shared by Jean Latiere (@jeanlatiere) on

In Taipei, artists turn eyesore buildings into perplexing pieces of art.

A post shared by @alssla2 on

Share some of your street art finds from Taipei and beyond by tagging Mezzanine on Instagram.