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Taipei artists paint 6000m2 of embankment walls: “It” is the secret surprise!

The Hydraulic Engineering Office (HEO) of the Taipei City Government (TPCG) started the Taipei New Story project in 2020 to assemble artists to embellish the embankment walls in the city. So far, artists have painted 16 embankment walls with an area of nearly 6,000m2 and each integrates city culture, esthetics and local characteristics. Additionally, during planning and design, artists have hidden a small colored egg in each work. As a star highly connected to the city, it links all works into the new story of Taipei. Have observant citizens noticed this colored egg? Right, it is the Taiwan blue magpie, the city bird of Taipei.
To the designer team of Taipei New Story, after accepting the project, artists have agreed to specifically keep a little surprise in each work when planning how to adapt paintings on embankment walls to link all works for the “Taipei New Story.” Now, it’s time to unveil this little secret: the Taiwan blue magpie is the surprise. According to the River Engineering Section (RES) of HEO, besides a species endemic to Taiwan, the Taiwan blue magpie is also Taipei’s city bird that brings happiness and blessings. By bridging the gap between people and the river, the 16 completed works for the Taipei New Story aims to bring the sense of happiness and wellness to citizens. Therefore, the team decided to link works up with the Taiwan blue magpie. If you want to spot the bird, why don’t you excuse these embankment walls to find the Taiwan blue magpie and enjoy the beauty of each work?
According to RES, to resolve the dissonance between embankment walls and the surroundings, artists of the Taipei New Story explored local terrains through on site inspection and discovered local culture through contacts and interviews with locals. They even held workshops to brainstorm creativity with the locale to create works that are closer to the local life and reawake the collective memories in locals through these interactions. Instead of being artificial structures for safety maintenance, artists want to transform embankment walls into public arts integrating local characteristics!
When promoting the Taipei New Story, HEO has assembled artists to create embankment wall paintings inheriting local characteristics with their unique creativity and styles. Currently, embankment wall paintings with a total painted area of nearly 6,000m2 have been completed at 16 spots. Additionally, with unique creativity and styles, artists have made an exclusive picture book about the story of Taipei telling the valuable collective memories of Taipei citizens with these embankment wall paintings.