Treasure Hill in Taipei truly lives up to it’s name. I’d been meaning to go there for the longest time and as I followed the signs on my bicycle it became increasingly clear that I was heading to quite the spot. As you wind alongside the Fuhe Bridge, colourful enticing art work aligns the walls. You are immediately greeted with quirky-looking houses dotted across the hill, which to explore, you must pass through an incense-filled temple with the most beautifully-crafted roof. The houses were built by the residents themselves, and scattered in amongst these, are artist spaces, organic kitchens and cafes, as well as numerous other nooks and crannies brimming over with wonderfulness. As I climbed and scrambled over the rooftops, the view of green spread out before my eyes, washing over everything. Not only does this village have giant emerald mountains right in front of it, it also has it’s own rooftop gardens which people have created. Treasure Hill is just bursting with innovative ideas.
Luckily for me, I just happened to be exploring during the Taipei Fringe Festival, so there were theatrical people with full faces of paint round every corner. Stage sets were being organised, props prepped and costumes adorned. What a place to be inspired! I ran into a girl who asked me to come see her show the following day. It just so was, that the very show she was in, was the one I had already marked as a ‘must see.’
Which is why, the very next day, I sped off again on my bicycle to the magical Treasure Hill. The show was called ‘dream! Life’ and was created by the Funky Dreamers. It was performed in 3 different spaces, which were 3 houses next to each other. I’ve never seen a play set in someone’s actual house before…it was amazing!! It was like being smack bang in the middle of someone’s reality; seeing it from their eyes. As we followed the heart-broken girl into the street, the city of Taipei before our very eyes, we could really feel what she was going through because we were right there with her. No fake set, no what ifs…we were actually right there. The other actress was playing a homeless girl, and as we exited the first house, she was right there, on the street. It was SO real! I’ve not been so gripped by a performance in a long time. They were both unbelievably talented, and used a lot of visual elements to enhance the experience. Real photographs from over 26 countries, taken by the director, brightened the white walls and they used a polaroid camera to take real photos, in real time, for a few lucky members of the audience (me included, yay!). It was a really intimate experience, and the use of real houses in an actual village excited me!
Treasure Hill really is a treasure trove of creativity. I’ve only just skimmed the surface but I love what I’ve seen so far. It must be pretty cool to be an actual resident there. A community of innovation and creation, and such a cool vibe to be a part of. I can’t wait to go back!