Pow! Wow! Taiwan 2014 Recap Part 1

by Anna CareyPosted on


Kamea Hadar and Reach collaborated on an enormous mural that took over two walls. Photo by Anna Carey/Hi-Fructose.

Taiwan may not be the first place to come to mind when you think about street art, but Hawaiian arts organization Pow! Wow! recently made Taipei its second home. For the last week, about 40 international and Taiwanese artists scaled buildings and crossed below highways to bring their fresh paint styles to Taipei. Just a few months ago, the Pow! Wow! team was in Hawaii revamping the walls of Honolulu for the fourth edition of street art festival Pow! Wow! Hawaii. Now, they’ve hopped 5,000 miles across the Pacific for the first ever Pow! Wow! Taiwan.


Street view of Kamea Hadar and Reach’s piece. Photo courtesy of Brandon Shigeta and Vincent Ricafort/Pow! Wow!


Detail of Kamea Hadar and Reach’s collaboration. Photo courtesy of Brandon Shigeta and Vincent Ricafort/Pow! Wow!

The event began Wednesday, May 28, launching a week of marathon mural painting at locations all over the city including Taipei Artist Village, Tatung University and the Taipei Zoo. Most artists had a slow start because of the rain, but once it subsided, they were flying up the lifts and throwing paint on the walls. UK-based artist INSA and LA-based artist Madsteez took over an eight-story wall on the edge of the Tatung University campus. INSA is known for his stop-motion mural work, so the pair had to paint constantly through the rain and humidity to produce the evolving image: a violet-faced woman flanked with gold chains, white flowers, and Alice in Wonderland patterns.


Madsteez scaling a wall. Photo courtesy of Brandon Shigeta and Vincent Ricafort/Pow! Wow!


Photo by Anna Carey/Hi-Fructose.


The Madsteez and Insa mural nearing completion. Photo courtesy of Brandon Shigeta and Vincent Ricafort/Pow! Wow!


Street view of Insa and Madsteez’s collaboration. Photo courtesy of Brandon Shigeta and Vincent Ricafort/Pow! Wow!

Not far away, below the Zhongshan Bridge, Taiwanese artist Seazk was putting his finishing touches on one of his trademark babies painted over a yellow background.


Seazk working on his piece. Photo by Anna Carey/Hi-Fructose.

At Taipei Artist Village, Bay Area-based artist Brendan Monroe was laying down a black and white-striped pattern on a wall he was working on with Taiwanese artist Candy Bird.


Brendan Monroe and Candy Bird’s mural in progress. Photo by Anna Carey/Hi-Fructose.


Brendan Monroe paints. Photo by Anna Carey/Hi-Fructose.


Brendan Monroe and Candy Bird’s mural spotted from a distance. Photo courtesy of Brandon Shigeta and Vincent Ricafort/Pow! Wow!

On the other end of the city, many of the Pow! Wow! Taiwan walls were scattered around the Taipei Zoo. San Francisco-based Apex took over the Koala House with rainbow-bright colors and animal patterns, and UK-based Will Barras spilled paints over the edge of a building for the zoo’s largest mural a few steps away. In between elephants and penguins and pandas, zoo goers stopped to gape at the artists covering the zoo in paint. Check out some images from the zoo below, and stay tuned for more pictures from Pow! Wow! Taiwan.


Apex painting at the Koala House at the Taipei Zoo. Photo courtesy of Brandon Shigeta and Vincent Ricafort/Pow! Wow!


Apex lays down his initial layer of colors. Photo by Anna Carey/Hi-Fructose.


Apex’s finished piece. Photo courtesy of Brandon Shigeta and Vincent Ricafort/Pow! Wow!