Painted Animation Lane, Taichung’s Graffitied Alley

Painted Animation Lane, Taichung

photography by: Omri Westmark

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Formerly a grey, industrial wasteland, Taichung has been bestowed with a series of recently-revitalized places during the last decade or so, rebranding it as a livable city. While most of the citywide transformation was carried out by the local government, a single alley in Taichung’s West District metamorphosed into an open-air museum solely by the resourcefulness of its dwellers, who simply yearned for a sightlier place to be in.

Akin to any large metropolis in Taiwan, Taichung is home to copious alleys which diverge perpendicularly from a larger and wider street. Up until quite recently, Lane 100 of Linsen Rd was just another uninspiring part of a densely packed residential block. However, that all changed when the owner of a motorcycle shop along the lane decided to paint the exterior walls of his business after deeming them exceedingly humdrum.


As an aficionado of manga, the shopkeeper adorned the frontage with a plethora of anime figures. Soon thereafter, the artwork became a pilgrimage site for gawkers, prompting the other nearby businesses to follow suit. With the help of the original muralist and his family members, the entire alleyway was covered by a hodgepodge of Japanese manga characters and internationally-recognized superheroes, aptly earning it the moniker “Painted Animation Lane”.


Among the familiar figures one can find here are Spiderman, Garfield, Street Fighters, the Simpsons, Super Mario, Pikachu and Gundam, to name just a few. Additionally, several stores in the surrounding buildings opted to capitalize on the influx of visitors and now offer anime-themed souvenirs.