Saturday, June 6, 2009

Utility box art, Taipei

Though I'm positive that painted utility boxes have been around since my childhood, it was not until very recently that I began to notice them again. The metal boxes used for electric, telephone, and water utilities are fairly common fixtures on the city's streets, and while the majority of them aren't decorated, a very noticable selection of them are.

Just about every box that has been painted features a brightly colored, somewhat kitschy landscape that wouldn't be out of place in a childrens' book. Chunghwa Telecom's (pictured at top) generally seem to be a cut above the others. Otherwise, they can get a little ridiculous and tacky, especially once cartoon characters are involved.

Even so, it's an interesting concept that to some degree adds a touch of "friendliness" to otherwise rather utilitarian streetscapes.

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