One of my favourite blogs from Taiwan is Anarchy in Taiwan or gotmahmojo who recently wrote a big piece on a new squat in Ximen, and the artists, musicians and others who are turning an abandoned building into something beautiful in The Taiwan DIY Ethic. I have a real soft spot for artist squats, having spent a particularly memorable time of my life living in warehouses across Wellington and Auckland, and especially going through an anarchist phase again now.
I was really excited to see something positive and creative going on in the city, since its been years since the “renaissance” of underground music and art that took hold in Taipei during the post-martial law 90s. I’ve often heard kids lament that they hadn’t come of age during that time when the local art scene was young and exciting (now it’s still young and about as exciting as a turnip). It was during the 90’s that the first livehouses opened (and were shortly shut-down) and art bands like LTK and Clippers first started playing wild shows filled with lovely displays of destructive performance art. One show which has become a sort of legend in the indie scene was the “Broken Life” festival held out at a condemned Taiwan Beer brewery in Banchiao back in 1995. As the story goes, LTK set fire to the stage during their set before tossing their instruments on the blaze. The noise band, Zero and the Sound Liberty Organization, ended their set with a spectacular finale – throwing a vial concoction of what was reported to be vomit, spit and piss, on the audience. The appalled crowd promptly attacked the band with chairs