"Through the prism of Taipei's development, Allen masterfully covers many aspects of visual culture in Taiwan during the past century. The book details cultural debates with insight and draws on many visual forms. Taipei is bound to become a prime source on Taiwan culture."
-Yomi Braester, author of Painting the City Red: Chinese Cinema and the Urban Contract
This cultural study of public space examines the cityscape of Taipei, Taiwan, in rich descriptive prose. Contemplating a series of seemingly banal subjects - maps, public art, parks - Joseph Allen peels back layers of obscured history to reveal forces that caused cultural objects to be celebrated, despised, destroyed, or transformed as Taipei experienced successive regime changes and waves of displacement. In this thoughtful stroll through the city, we learn to look beyond surface ephemera, moving from the general to the particular to see sociocultural phenomena in their historical and contemporary contexts.
JOSEPH R. ALLEN is professor of Chinese literature and cultural studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and author of In the Voice of Others: Chinese Music Bureau Poetry and translator of Forbidden Games and Video Poems: The Poetry of Yang Mu and Lo Ch'ing.