Like the ‘machiya’ that once defined traditional downtown quarters in Japan, the Taiwanese shophouse is a street-facing edifice that puts passersby and inhabitants in immediate proximity. Once, they were popular shop venues. Today, some have been transformed into modern homes. Enamored of their appearance and contemporary atmosphere, painter Kai-Hsiang Cheng tells their stories in ink and images. Cheng traveled the whole of Taiwan to lay eyes on shophouses in many different cities. His brush captured their architecture’s many eccentricities and delightful details, including their signs, wares, and windows. Each of the one hundred paintings in the final book is accompanied by a detailed record of where the building is, when it was painted, and what else must be known about it. Cheng’s meticulous record-keeping and eye for captivating detail make this beautiful book interesting to both the casual tourist and the historian researching grassroots Taiwanese culture.
This publication is available in Spanish only.