Portrait of a Taipei Neighborhood is a detailed drawing of Tonghua Night Market and the streets around it. This area has been my home for over 10 years and I wanted this drawing to capture all the people and places that have been part of my life, either big or small, over my time here. My hope is that many other people who know this area will recognize parts of their own lives within it. They may even recognize themselves! What I've learned while drawing and sharing parts of this piece is that we are all more linked by place and our memories of a place than I had first thought.
I also hope that people see elements of their own neighborhoods from elsewhere in Taiwan in this too. I feel the mid-century apartment building neighborhoods that make up the majority of Taiwan's urban areas are a little under-represented in art here, yet this is what most of us experience every day (even down to how often the tiles fall off these buildings, which I've added here too haha)
I began planning this piece in 2019 and started to take a closer look at lanes and alleys I didn't frequent so much back then. I've lived in three different buildings in this neighborhood and have seen it change over time, however it changes at a much slower pace than many parts of Taipei do. This piece represents the last 10 years and has stuff from each year on it (including for example the area's only Japanese era building, which was demolished in 2016). By 2020 I felt I had enough I could add to this piece and began it. I took it slowly and carefully, often leaving it for months while I worked on something else, and coming back to it when I had some fresh experiences to add.
This is probably the most personal drawing I've made, and the first one I've put a lot from my own life on. Everything from favorite restaurants to the ladies I buy ginger from in the morning market, and a few more painful memories too! I've also hidden a couple of stupid puns and jokes in there so have fun finding those haha. One aspect of drawing this over a very long time is that I have forgotten some of what I put on here myself!
The drawing measure 109 x 71 cm (without frame) and is drawn entirely in archival grade fineliner pen. It has been treated with a fixative to protect the paper and the ink is fade-proof. The paper is acid free so isn't as brilliant white as some paper, but this means it is protected from degradation.
There will be a limited canvas print version of this, and perhaps a poster too. The print will have a color option, however I personally prefer this in black and white. I have decided to leave the original color free and have a grayscale option for the print. The only difference between print version and original is that I moved the mrt cutaway to the center top of the drawing. In its original spot it doesn't match with the location of tunnels (it should be Xinyi Anhe Station there), and I couldn't fit a detailed station cutaway on.
Framing and delivery within Taiwan are included in the price. The buyer can choose the framing style, otherwise I'll likely give it a black wooden frame or floating frame (if it's not too big for a floating frame). Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you!