The Metal Door Art of Guangming Road 光明路的金屬門: A Different Canvas

Close your shop in style with some art!  You can see many colorful metal doors on Guangming Road in Taipei.

Close your shop in style with some art! You can see many colorful metal doors on Guangming Road in Taipei.

Though Taipei has many interesting places that are open late (including a 24 hour bookstore), stores do indeed close.  Stores seem to fade into anonymity when the owners pack up shop and bring down those big metal gates.  On Guangming Road in the Beitou District of Taipei, you may find something unexpected on these slabs of steel: art!  Several stores on Guangming Road have their metal doors decorated with elaborate drawings from a host of different topics.  Check out more photos after the jump.

I’ve seen these decorations for a long time, but recently I noticed more have been springing up.  I’ve sighted several people painting new ones, so now is the time to share them.  I’m not sure about the history of the project, but I think it’s a great idea that all stores should use.  A busy street can quickly turn into an art gallery with these gigantic pieces.

Many of the artworks are based on the store’s goods or Beitou.  Guangming Road is close to Xinbeitou, a tourist spot known for hot springs and traditional Japanese culture.  Due to this, a lot of the artworks have a Japanese motif, with sakura and samurai aplenty.  Not all of these artworks are strictly on Guangming Road however.  Some are on the branching lanes, and I’ve seen a few others a bit of a ways off.

If you want to see them for yourself, it’s best to come around 3 or 4 PM on Sunday, after many of the stores close.  I hope other streets in Taipei can emulate Guangming Road and make the city more colorful.  Check out some photos.  Keep in mind this is not a complete collection!

Many of the doors flourish with color.

Many of the doors flourish with color.

A woman serves tea in this piece.

A woman serves tea in this piece.

This is actually part of a larger piece that spans three doors.

This is actually part of a larger piece that spans three doors.

A wave crashes onto a tree.

A wave crashes onto a tree.

This is in front of a clinic, which used to have a cartoonish stork on their door.

This is in front of a clinic, which used to have a cartoonish stork on their door.

A boy cheers in front of the Hot Spring Museum, located in Xinbeitou.

A boy cheers in front of the Hot Spring Museum, located in Xinbeitou.

A car was in front of this one, hence the odd angle.

A car was in front of this one, hence the odd angle.

I believe this is one of the newer ones, as I hadn't seen it until this photo session.

I believe this is one of the newer ones, as I hadn’t seen it until this photo session.

An appropriate door for a clothing store.

An appropriate door for a clothing store.

This small restaurant serves fried meat on top of rice.  I think their decoration is among the best.

This small restaurant serves fried meat on top of rice. I think their decoration is among the best.

I actually saw people painting this dragon a few weeks ago.

I actually saw people painting this dragon a few weeks ago.

Can you guess what kind of store this is?  You can get your animals cleaned and shampooed here.

Can you guess what kind of store this is? You can get your animals cleaned and shampooed here.

A dog relaxes in a hot spring.

A dog relaxes in a hot spring.

I'm honestly not sure what this is.

I’m honestly not sure what this is.

Cherry blossoms are a common trend.

Cherry blossoms are a common trend.

Location

The street is accessible from Beitou or Xinbeitou MRT.  Turn right from Beitou Station down the busy street, and from Xinbeitou head down the road between the McDonald’s and KFC.

About taiwanaut

I'm an American living in Taiwan. Follow my posts about Taiwan on taiwanaut.com!

Posted on October 19, 2014, in Art, Taipei and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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