Textures and geometry in the ruins of Taichung
An Empty Shell on Dayong Street 大勇街屋
The south side of central Taichung 台中 is undergoing massive changes with the opening of the new Taichung Station. Formerly one of the most rundown parts of urban Taiwan 台灣, it is now the front of the station, and many old and decrepit buildings like this house on Dàyǒng Street…
Jan 2017
Exterior view of Donggong Theater 東宮戲院
Donggong Theater 東宮戲院
Dōnggōng Theater 東宮戲院 is located in Dongshi, a Hakka majority township in mountainous central Taichung 台中. Dongshi (or Tungshih in the older Wade–Giles Romanization system) is the gateway to the densely forested interior and was a major center of the lumber industry in Taiwan 台灣 prior to its decline in…
Jan 2017
A little heaven in disaster areas
Iron Butterflies in the Scorched Ruins of Old Taichung
The new year dawns and I’m out on the streets with a ragtag group of approximately 50 people convened by the man behind Writing Taichung 寫作中區, a blog dedicated to exploring local history and culture through writing and illustration. The event is essentially an urban exploration walking tour, and while…
Jan 2017
The former Xizhou Telecom Bureau 溪州原電信局
Xizhou Telecom Bureau 溪州原電信局
This week I visited the small town of Xizhou 溪州 in southern Changhua 彰化 to locate the eponymous Xizhou Theater 溪州戲院. I found no way into the theater but made a serendipitous discovery while walking around the block in search of another access point. Across the street I noticed the…
Dec 2016
Taichung’s Zhongsen Theater 中森戲院
A Requiem for Zhongsen Theater 中森戲院
Taichung 台中 is changing fast. The historic downtown area, formerly one of the worst examples of inner city blight in the nation, is presently undergoing a massive urban renewal effort. Some decaying and disused commercial buildings have been restored, many more await their fate, and others have been demolished before…
Dec 2016
The main entrance to Shuangxi’s Donghe Theater 東和戲院
The Ruins of Donghe Theater 東和戲院
Dōnghé Theater 東和戲院 is an obscure ruin in the small historic town of Shuangxi 雙溪 in the mountains of eastern Xinbei (New Taipei) 新北. Despite its diminutive size and remote location the town has a history going back to the Qing dynasty era. During the mining boom of the early…
Dec 2016
The entrance to Xizhou Theater 溪洲戲院
A Glimpse of Xizhou Theater 溪州戲院
Some people are into urban exploration for the optics—they love visiting the most visually-impressive places and taking cool photos—but I’m more interested in solving puzzles and documenting history. Animated by curiosity, I have become proficient in navigating the Chinese language web in search of leads. Not all of these turn…
Dec 2016
Wuri Police Station 烏日警察官吏派出所
Wuri Police Station 烏日警察官吏派出所
Wuri Police Station 烏日警察官吏派出所 is a historic Japanese colonial era building dating back to the early 1930s. Located in Wuri 烏日, Taichung 台中, it was built in a simple, subdued style with more of a nod toward Rationalism than the localized Art Deco or Baroque Revival styles commonly seen in…
Nov 2016
An abandoned installation at the easternmost tip of Taiwan
Gateway To The East
Recently I returned to Cape Santiago 三貂角, the easternmost tip of the island of Taiwan 台灣, once again by way of the Old Caoling Tunnel 舊草嶺隧道. The far eastern shoreline is smothered in broken concrete and derelict industrial facilities, the fading legacy of an aquaculture industry in decline. One such…
Nov 2016
An abandoned house on the edge of urban Hsinchu
An Abandoned House and Community Garden in Hsinchu
Last weekend I visited Hsinchu City 新竹市 and rented a scooter to visit some of the more distant areas from the central train station. Along the way my attention was drawn to this traditional home on the margins of the north side of town. Hsinchu, like most other cities in…
Nov 2016