During the winter of 2012 we spent our time in Taiwan on a anti-clockwise tour of the country stopping off first of all in Taichung to take in the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts and to stand in awe of the fantastic architecture of Sun Moon Lakes new visitors centre.
As we began to move on with our journey, our second port of call was to be Tainan, the former capital of Taiwan and home of the Anping district which has – amongst it’s many former Dutch colonial buildings – the Anping Tree House.
After abandoning our bags at our highly accommodating Couchsurfing hosts house we took ourselves out the main door and started to wonder around the city for what was left of the day after our late afternoon arrival. No real intended direction, just our usual “shoes on and go” method of casually discovering a city and its secrets.
It wasn’t long before we discovered some art on the street, but if you can call it street art we don’t know.
The whole building is painted from roof to curb in a deep red and what’s left of the wall is covered in all sorts of curious features like some sort of patchwork quilt.
We took our shots and kept on walking fully aware that the sun was dipping behind the clouds and the night was coming over. It’s getting dark but our curious find is making us wonder; will there be more in Tainan?
Under the lights and on our side of the road we stumble across a number of people milling around waiting their turn to take shots of this incredibly interesting find. Call it street art, call it design, call it whatever you like; this incredible looking building had us captivated at the designs that covered it’s repainted rundown and grumbling walls.
Closed on the day we arrived we could only speculate on what this building could be. Is it disused? Is it an art project? Is it an organised attempt by the council to revitalise the area in a different direction? Did everyone just wake up in the morning to just find this on their doorsteps?
Getting In Close And Personal
We approached the building (when people had finished with their shots) and found that there was a glass doorway filled with posters for this and leaflets for that. Most about live music events and the odd movie night being held at the location. It turned out that the ‘Blueprint Bar’ is one of the few places where people can share a moment with one another over a beer talking about this film or that band. Really somewhere the both of us would probably have enjoyed.
Knowing that there was no drink for us on that night we took a step back and returned to scanning the walls to take in the large scale and the details within it in.
The whole painted scene is that of a blueprint to the building, but not the standard “this room and that room” of a birdseye view, more of a blueprint to the lives of the people who once occupied those wall, overly imaginative or not.
Then of course we found ourselves in the way of others for the next round of posing and close-ups, so again, we hopped out of the way to do some more admiring of our own.
Finally we took our last few shots and decided to continue with our meander around the streets in the hope that after hitting the jackpot within our first few hours, perhaps there’s a chance to find another gem or two.
View Blueprint Bar in a larger map
Unfortunately I couldn’t find an accurate address to pop down here as I would normally, however, I was able to find it in Google Maps and have successfully saved it to one of our own custom maps so that should you find yourselves arriving in Taiwan’s fifth largest city you’ll be able to get Google to give you accurate directions.