Art, Music, Taiwan & The Refuge Community for GuanXi Magazine

“Music is the universal language of mankind.”  – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

                       Art, Music, Taiwan & The Refuge Community

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(This article was originally written for Guanxi Magazine Spring Issue/2016)

It was the year 2000 and spring was swaddling Taiwan as we moved into our new house on a dead-end street. Little did we know how that move – over the next sixteen years – would affect people’s lives – and moreover how much our own lives would change in that time.

We had worked out a pretty good deal on rent as it had only been a few months after the big devastating earthquake in the autumn of 1999. The house was a bit farther away from the city, and had a good sized yard. Perfect.

Friends began visiting from the city. They would lay in the grass, look up at a sunny sky while birds were chirping and exclaim… what a refuge!

Hearing this so many times and from so many different people we all started referring to our home as The Refuge. People brought their art, art supplies, instruments, food and ideas on the weekends. Together we would make art, music and share food and ideas. 

A Community was being built without us realizing it at first and it grew exponentially. There was no other place like it that we knew of in Taichung and at the time, no one was doing what we were doing. It was revolutionary.

Because of my love for music and art – and the whole birds of a feather concept – Our ‘refuge’ attracted artists, musicians, thinkers and supporters from all walks. Many Taiwanese frequented our place of course but there were also people coming from all around our beautiful island paradise – and the world. Then we started doing small events… some that grew into big events.

The Refuge has gone through many changes since the early 2000s and will keep changing with the times and the environment.  But one things is certain: The Refuge is all about the Art and Music Community.


In the spring of 2011, the mayor of Taichung shutdown all the bars and music venues after a popular bar (that featured live music) burned down in Taichung, The Refuge Community defiantly stayed open. We felt it was worth the constant risk of being raided and fined just to keep the music scene alive. We had just relocated The Refuge to an old amusement park and because of the fire and subsequent shutdown of venues, we were the only venue (opened past 10PM) in Taichung where bands could play… and play they did!

Unfortunately, the land where that Refuge was for three years has since been sold to a big corporation and we have moved back to our original location. But we still have events and we still support aspiring musicians and artists.  We still have an eye out for another awesome venue, but to date, we haven’t found anything as special as when we were at that old amusement park. We’ll keep looking though!

Speaking of aspiring musicians and artists… after spending some time going to The Refuge events, and meeting the movers & shakers and supporters of The Refuge Community, many have discovered the artist within themselves. Surrounded by experienced and talented artisans from around the world, aspiring artists and musicians get the encouragement they need to go for it. The Refuge has seen thousands come through its doors.  And what a high it is to see people discover their talent or develop skills they never knew they had. What a high it is to see someone with skills and finally getting the opportunity to see those skills manifest. The Refuge Community gives people that necessary encouragement to grow. And that is beautiful.

And it’s that high and that beauty that keeps us doing what we do.


The Refuge acts as a nerve center for charitable and cultural activities and puts on a variety of large and small events. Some of these events include: LUVstock (Music/Art Festival), Basic Aid (Fundraising/Charitable Organization), Hobo Happiness (Folk Fest featuring Scott Cook and other Local Musicians), Luna-C (Full Moon Events with Bands & DJs) as well as helping and promoting others and their events around the Island. LUVstock for example grew from a house party with one stage, a few bands and fifty or sixty guests –  to moving to a bigger location with three stages, fifty bands, twelve DJs, vendors, camping and over 2000 guests getting their groove on for the weekend… and without ever selling out to The Man.

There is so much more The Refuge does or is part of, but this article has a word limit, so be sure to find us by looking at the links at the end of this piece.

The Refuge has an eclectic collection of art, music, doodads, trinkets, musical instruments. The Refuge boasts over a terabyte of music from around the world and over two terabytes of local music and shows that we have recorded over the years. And we have a pretty damn good sound system to listen to it all on, too! The Refuge is a friendly inviting place that is always – as many of you know – morphing into something different, new and interesting. People come from all over the Island with their ideas, and artistic know-how.


This is what keeps The Refuge relevant, growing and fun.

Come be part of a Refuge Jam, a drum circle… come to an event (we usually have events at least once a month – look below for links!).  The Refuge is still one of very few places in Taichung that continues to have Live Music in a very chill environment.

Look at the links below to see how you can be part of The Refuge Community and be up to date for Refuge Happenings!

Come be part of what we do.

The Refuge is an icon in Taichung as it continues to provide Creative Outlets for Artists, Musicians, Bohemians & Truth Seekers. Come explore, create & make new connections with others.

                                           A Strong Community Makes a World of Change.

If you would like to get in touch and find out more about Boston Paul & The Refuge Community, check out the links below:



You can Follow the Militant Hippi/Boston Paul on Facebook:

You Might also like to read some other short stories by Boston Paul AKA The Militant Hippi:

  1. About a Great Grandfather and his Great Grandson:My Great Grandfather: When Cultures Clash. Ass kicking, long hair and Hard Knocks

2.  This is my weapon and this is my Gun, based on real life events, a young man finds himself in Central America:

3. Hate waiting in line?  This is for you:

4. The Would Be Patriot:

5. A bit of Horror and suspense… never blow this guy’s candle out!

6. Getting Stoned at The Fair


Boston Paul decides to stay in Taiwan after outpouring of Love and Well Wishes 謝謝你的愛..我會住在台灣。

April 2

Happy Day After April First!

Yesterday I announced that I would be leaving Taiwan.

(Link to that story below)

After making the painstaking decision to leave this Wonderful Island Paradise on April First,  the outpouring of Love & Well-wishes has prompted me to stay one more year… it’s going to take me about that long to sell and throw away all my stuff anyway.

In the meantime, I hope that many of us can meet – as we always say we will – for a few drinks and a warm chat.

Life is short…  live it well.


Peace and Love

The original story is here:


You can Follow the Militant Hippi/Boston Paul on Facebook:

Published in: on April 2, 2016 at 2:22 PM  Comments (5)  
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Boston Paul to leave Taiwan after 21 years ** 二十一 年到了 – 我會離開台灣

Will leave Taiwan PIC

Boston Paul to leave Taiwan after 21 years ** 二十一 年到了 – 我會離開台灣


The time has come to leave this wonderful island. An island I’ve spent almost half my life on.  I’ve met so many wonderful people, watched a generation grow up. I saw the very first Taiwanese elections in 1996 as China dropped missiles off the coast to intimidate the newly elected government.  I saw the Taiwanese band together and rebuild after the devastating earthquake in 1999.   I watched a music scene grow from Singaporean cover bands to an original music bonanza.  I met my wife here. My son has grown up here.  There are many here that I call Family.

The decision was a tough one.  But I’ve realized that my time here is over and it is time to leave.

Good bye Taiwan… it’s been awesome.

Spring is here… time for rebirth and a new life..

Whatever I can’t take with me I will sell and give away.  I won’t be returning to the USA as the political climate there is unsettling.  I will most likely venture to India, then Mongolia, then settle in Nepal…. But who knows where my Journey Path will take me?

Thank you all for the many years of friendship and through all the ups and down, I thank you deeply for the love, caring and companionship.

Peace and Love



You can Follow the Militant Hippi/Boston Paul on Facebook:

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